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WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 



WHAT THE 
JUDGE SAW 



BEING 



TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN MANCHESTER 
BY ONE WHO HAS DONETHTr 



BY 
HIS HONOUR JUDGE 

EDWARD ABBOTT PARRY 

AUTHOR OF "DOROTHY OSBORNE'S LETTERS," "JUDGMENTS IN VACATION 

"THE SCARLET HERRING,' "KATA WAMPUS: ITS TREATMENT 

AND CURE," "BUTTER SCOTIA," ETC. 



SECOND IMPRESSION 



LONDON 

SMITH, ELDER & CO., 15, WATERLOO PLACE 

1912 

[All rights reserved] 



V ft .< 



Go 

MY PARTNER, COMRADE AND WIFE 
THIS VOLUME is DEDICATED 



801)791 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. FAREWELL MANCHESTER XI 

II. HOME I 10 

III. STUDENT DAYS ./ 32 

IV. CALLED TO THE BAR 49 

V. EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER ... 65 

VI. QUARTER SESSIONS 84 

VII. THE SENTENCE OF DEATH IO5 

VIII. JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 125 

IX. FIRST BRIEFS 147 

X. ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 163 

XI. THE COMPLEAT CITIZEN 179 

XII. THAT REMINDS ME . ..... 199 

XIII. THE PEARK 219 

XIV. OVERTIME 238 

XV. PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 257 

XVI. THE MANCHESTER STAGE 278 

XVII. QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET . . . 293 

XVIII. DEALING IN FUTURES 311 



INDEX 317 



NOTE 

The origin of these reminiscences was the appear- 
ance of some papers I contributed to the " MANCHESTER 
DAILY DISPATCH " in January of this year. These met 
with considerable favour, and many readers seemed to 
think that their story was worthy of being set down 
in a more permanent fashion. It was to meet this 
suggestion that I have largely added to and re-written 
the original essays and published them in book form. 



EDWARD A. PARRY. 



SEVEN OAKS, 

September, 1912. 



WHAT THE JUDGE. SAW. 

vJ .. 



CHAPTER I 

FAREWELL MANCHESTER 

I go but God knows when or why 

From smoky towns and cloudy sky 
To things (the honest truth to say) 
As bad but in a different way. 

BYRON : " Farewell to Malta," 
(Amended by leave of the Court. ) 

" SOME poet has observed that if any man would 
write down what has really happened to him in this 
mortal life he would be sure to make a good book, 
though he never had met with a single adventure 
from his birth to his burial/' Even Thackeray does 
not take the responsibility for the thesis, but with 
a light heart lays the burden upon the shoulders of 
" some poet." And for my part I had never any 
intention of answering the poet's challenge until 
after a quarter of a century of life in Manchester I 
found myself back again in my original domicile. 
I doubt if I had ever really acquired a domicile in 
Manchester. There was residence, but was there 

J.S. I B 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

intention ? I think I must decide that somewhere 
at the back of my mind there was an intention if not 
a desire to return. 

But when I did return, how many changes I found. 
Of course I had paid fleeting visits to London during 
the term of my exile ; but here I was again for better 
or worse, and my mind made contrast of to-day with 
the memories of twenty-five years ago. Where were 
the familiar faces ? Not all were gone certainly, but 
those that remained seemed to my eyes duller, 
grizzled and less alert than I had remembered them. 
And no doubt I was the same to them, and had grown 
rugged and provincial during my long absence. For 
when old friends met me in the Strand or the Temple 
they patted my shoulder in a kindly compassionate 
manner as if I were a pit pony who had just come to 
the surface after several decades of darkness. These 
Londoners who knew nothing of Manchester and the 
North seemed to fancy I was blinking and dazzled 
with the brilliancy of their converse, when in truth 
and in fact I was wondering why they all except 
the Jews spoke with a tinge of Cockney accent. 
When they congratulated me upon my " promo- 
tion/' as they called it, I could not help contrasting 
the trial of cases arising out of commercial contracts 
on the Manchester Exchange with the trespass of 
sheep among the turnip-tops, which is the nearest 
we have to a cause cklebre in the Weald of Kent. 

But what caused me a greater sinking of heart was 
that, when I spoke of Manchester men and Man- 
chester affairs, I spoke to deaf ears. Your Peckham 



FAREWELL MANCHESTER 

and Surbiton Londoner knows indeed that there is 
such a place as Manchester on the map ; but intel- 
lectually and spiritually he is far nearer to New York 
or Johannesburg. The works and doings of these 
places interest and amuse him, but the annals of the 
great cities of the North are closed books to him. 
And when I was lamenting on such a state of things 
I came across Thackeray's message and wondered 
if it was intended for me. I could not help thinking 
how many of us would like to have the reminiscences 
of the pit pony. How entertaining it would be to 
his fellow ponies below to know what the old fellow 
really thought of them, and how the story of a life 
underground would tickle the supercilious ears of 
the pony aristocrats who had spent their lives 
among surburban milk floats and butchers' carts, or 
even let us say in the polo field. There was the 
personal pleasure, too, of remembering and setting 
down the story of the days that were gone and 
describing the highways and byways along which I 
had travelled so pleasantly, and the thought that 
some who were children in those years might like 
to know what sort of a world it was they used to 
live in. 

Maybe Charles Lamb is right when he asks him- 
self " Why do cats grin in Cheshire ? " and tells us 
that " it was once a County Palatine, and the cats 
cannot help laughing when they think of it." For 
my part as one who has been a " poore Palatine " in 
the adjacent county of Lancaster I confess that the 
very sound of its name will always induce a smile 

3 B 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

or should I say a purr at the pleasant memories 
with which it is fragrant. 

Attachment to places is quite irrespective of their 
pleasances. The fields and orchards of Kent, white 
with blossom in the spring, purple and golden with 
the heavy fruits of autumn, can never be as accept- 
able to me as the mud building land of South 
Manchester. The Embankment and the Strand 
even in its debased modern form and the Temple 
Gardens and the fountain will always be home to 
one who started life as a Londoner, and was educated 
in the cellars of Somerset House. But in solitary 
thoughts and dreams I shall glide in fancy down the 
flags of Oxford Road, and watch the rooks building 
on Fallowfield " Broo," or strike across the fields of 
Chorlton's Farm by the cottages with the old vine 
on them, and take the train from Alexandra Park to 
my work. When I come out of the Lambeth County 
Court into the Camberwell New Road it will always 
feel irksome to me not to be able to stride up Peter 
Street and push open the swing doors of a certain 
club in Mosley Street and find myself in an atmo- 
sphere of tobacco and good fellowship. You get so 
attached to the actual place in which you dwell that 
though things are better and more beautiful else- 
where your optic nerves do not respond at their call, 
or you suffer from a geographical deafness. I do 
not defend such narrow patriotism, I only assert 
that it exists. The other day I found myself in a fog 
in London one which Mr. Guppy would call a real 
London particular saying to a friend, " Call this a 

4 






FAREWELL MANCHESTER 

fog ? You should see a first-class Manchester fog." 
I knew I was a boaster and a braggart, for Man- 
chester fogs, though tastier in chemical flavour, have 
not the real woolly orange blanket appearance of the 
fog that rolls up white from the Nore and bronzes 
with the London smoke. 

I think I have the place attachment a limpet- 
like characteristic, after all very highly developed. 
I remember a story of a little boy, about three years 
old or perhaps more, who moved with his family and 
their furniture into a new house. At first the affair 
excited him, but later on he wandered uneasily and 
miserably about his new quarters with an idea that 
he would never smile again, and that the sooner the 
world came to an end the better for everybody. 
Poor, doleful, little urchin, he climbed up long flights 
of stairs into a box-room, and there, finding a pile of 
old carpets, he selected one that had belonged to his 
nursery and laid him down to die. Forgotten in the 
turmoil, he cried himself to sleep, and was discovered 
by anxious domestics after prolonged search. I 
know a great deal of the story is true, because I have 
heard it from some of my more reliable relations, and 
as the hero of the story I believe I can remember 
hearing an agonised nurse calling my name in despair, 
and sullenly refusing to reply to her calls on the 
ground that I never wished to consort with the world 
again since I had discovered with Zarathustra that 
" all is empty, all is equal, all hath been." 

This attachment to places is a very animal virtue, 
or failing, whichever it be, and in my experience is 

5 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

not so much a home-sickness as a nausea of novelty. 
One erects in one's mind a standard of what ought to 
be, and applies that to the beloved place ; and by 
constantly asserting to strangers that the place is in 
all particulars absolutely perfect, one begins by mere 
force of the repetition to believe in it oneself. In 
this way do myths become religions. There are 
many Manchester myths, all of which in my 
patriotism the more vehement because I cannot 
claim birthright in the great city I repeat, and shall 
continue to repeat, with the accuracy and fervour 
with which I still run over on occasion my " duty to 
my neighbour." Thus a true Manchester man will 
tell you Manchester is musical, whereas, in truth and 
in fact, very few of her people care anything about 
music at all. Also he will speak with glowing pride 
of the marvellous municipal statesmanship of her 
governors, whereas, though we are very fond of them 
personally, we know they are about as ordinary a set 
of parish councillors as ever met in a village school- 
room. I myself have often reproved a mere 
Southerner for casting aspersions on our climate by 
saying " it was not half so black as it is painted," 
when I knew that on oath I should have to admit 
that no ink could paint it black enough. These 
are lawful perjuries, and unworthy of Manchester 
would any citizen be who should hesitate to repeat 
them. 

And yet I am not altogether sorry that I left 
Manchester. It is true that it was for purely 
personal and domestic reasons that I came south. 

6 



FAREWELL MANCHESTER 

There was no financial gain in my move, and 
therefore there is no ecclesiastical precedent for 
pretending that I had received a spiritual call to 
a wider sphere of action. At the /same time it 
is possible that the dignity and decorum of 
Lambeth may be perfected by that " wakkening 
up " spirit which the apostles of Manchester go forth 
to maintain. 

I remember when I was moving south, Bishop 
Welldon asking me on the steps of the pavilion at 
Old Trafford, " And where is your diocese ? " 

" Lambeth," I replied promptly. " It sounds 
ecclesiastical, doesn't it ? " 

' ' It did until your name was connected with it," 
said the Bishop with a merry laugh. 

And I left him wondering whether that was the 
reason Providence had translated me to the Camber- 
well New Road. 

As for myself, I never want my name to be 
connected with Lambeth; but in so far as it will 
ever be remembered at all, I pray that it may find 
its way into some niche in those cyclopaedias and 
other mausoleums of the famous under the title 
" Manchester/' 

And I am not alone in thinking that " Farewell 
Manchester " is a sad phrase to utter. For when 
Charles Edward left Manchester in 1745 after those 
pleasant weeks of revelry among the gentry of 
Lancashire and Cheshire, the legend is that he rode 
sadly over the Derbyshire hills chanting that mourn- 
ful lament the music of which the old prebendary 

7 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

of Hereford set down in later years and called 
" Felton's Gavot " or " Farewell Manchester." But 
I picture the Pretender cantering along and rallying 
his friends about the Lancashire lasses, whose hearts 
they had conquered and whose ribbons they wore 
in their bonnets, and I believe it was only in after 
years that the mournful ballad spread round the 
countryside and the ballad-mongers sang of the 
young prince whose " tear-drops bodingly from their 
prisons start." 

It would be absurd for modern visitors to Manches- 
ter, rushing away from the city in a luxurious dining 
car, plunging beneath the Disley Golf Links and 
emerging among the picturesque Derbyshire crags, 
to throw themselves into the romantic humour of the 
heroes of '45 and mingle tear-drops with their soup. 
But alone with your thoughts, if you have lived in 
the midst of Manchester and her people and experi- 
enced their gracious hospitality to the stranger 
that is within their gates, you may find yourself 
crooning old Felton's Gavot, and learn that the song 
vibrates in a minor key and that the tear-drops can 
only be kept back by control. 

It is a hard thing to say " Farewell ! " in the 
right key. Many, many kindly letters I received 
when I went away, and all were full of gracious 
messages ; but the one I best remember as saying the 
just word of complimentary reproof was a vale- 
dictory letter from the Secretary of the Crematorium, 
in which he wrote, " our committee feel very grieved 
that you should be leaving us in this manner." I 

8 



FAREWELL MANCHESTER 

quote from memory, and of course the wording may 
not be exactly accurate. But the idea was beauti- 
fully and delicately expressed, and to the hidden 
indictment in the letter I plead guilty and throw 
myself upon the mercy of the Court. 



CHAPTER II 

HOME 

It may be a hut with a thatch on 

In a garden where roses grow, 
Or built of bad bricks with a patch on 

Of stucco, and twelve in a row ; 
It may be a palace of crystal, 

With a splendid sparkling dome, 
But what does it matter whatever it is, 
It is Home. 

"Pater's Book of Rhymes." 

I DO not want to anger my readers at the 
threshold with heraldic learning of the couching lions 
and ramping cats to which the Parrys of Nerquis 
are by right entitled, but I claim a Welshman's 
privilege of setting down so much of genealogy 
as is necessary to the understanding of my story. 
And truly one of the temptations that lured me to 
this task was a desire to write down what I could 
remember of my father, John Humffreys Parry 
Serjeant Parry who died more than thirty years 
ago, and left so fine a memory among his comrades 
in the battles of old in Westminster Hall. 

And I often heard my father talk of his Welsh 
ancestry, though he himself was a Londoner born in 
1816, and he would tell us what he remembered of 
his father, John Humffreys Parry, the Welsh anti- 
quary and writer who was called to the Bar in 1811, 

10 



HOME 

and died when my father was a boy of sixteen. He 
was the writer of the " Cambrian Plutarch " and 
editor of the " Cambro Briton/' a journal of Celtic 
folk-lore and the ancient literature and history of 
Wales. Nowadays he would probably have been a 
professor at a Welsh University, but in those days 
people cared for none of these things. I remember 
reading in some Welsh account of his career and 
among Welshmen he is far better known than my 
father how he was educated at Mold Grammar 
School and articled to Mr. Wynne, solicitor, of that 
town, and married a daughter of John Thomas, 
solicitor, of LlanfyUin, which is away down in the 
wilds of Montgomeryshire. This biographer wound 
up his story with the compendious statement that 
" he went to London, was called to the Bar, took to 
literature and dissipated his estates/' But if he had 
any estates, which is at least doubtful, he wasted 
them not in riotous living, but in the printing and 
publishing of the Welsh literature he loved. From 
the earliest he was an eager and ready writer. I 
have a small brown scrapbook, the leaves of which 
are saffron- tinged with age, in which are pasted with 
proud care the author's letters and verses contri- 
buted to the Chester Courant in the early part of 
the century, when he was a youth in Mr. Wynne's 
office in Mold. 

Some years ago curiosity led me into the land of 
my forefathers, and I climbed the steep hill between 
Mold and Ruthin to reach Llanferres, going past 
" The Three Loggerheads," the sign of which 

II 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Richard Wilson, R.A., the landscape painter, is 
reputed to have painted. It is the old jest of two 
heads grinning at you the third you supply for 
yourself. And if Wilson painted it, as they say he 
did, it was probably done in his early days, for he 
came from Mold, and as he died in 1782 the sign must 
have been there in my great-grandfather Edward 
Parry's time, when he became rector of the little 
hill village of Llanferres in 1790. And doubtless 
he often saw it as he walked down the hill to visit 
his wife's relatives in Mold, or went across to Nerquis 
to see his father Edward Parry, the tanner. 

And at Llanferres I searched the church registers, 
and finding that the rector was carried home to his 
native village of Nerquis, I turned my steps along the 
narrow roads down the side of the hill where his 
funeral must have passed and found a little village 
church at the foot-hills on the English side, so much 
away from the bustle of the world's traffic that I 
think it must be much the same to-day as it was when 
my great-grandfather was carried back to his early 
home. And when the little churchyard of Nerquis 
gives up its collection of Parrys it will relinquish a 
goodly number who lived and died in this quiet, 
solitary place, and from what one reads on marble 
slabs and the like, they were a godly, honest and 
well-doing people. But to my regret I find that 
Edward the tanner's father was the Rev. Canon 
Edward Parry, M.A., Vicar of Oswestry in 1763, 
and his father was Thomas, an attorney of Welshpool 
who lived near the bridge, so that as we reach the 

12 



HOME 

seventeenth century it dawns upon me that I do not 
belong to North Wales at all, and I cease my 
researches into the past, in dread that I should 
discover after all that I am no better than a South 
Wales man, a " Hwntw " in good northern speech, 
or " man from beyond." 

My very earliest personal recollection of my father 
was in the days of my childhood, when we lived at 
No. i, Upper Gloucester Place, overlooking Dorset 
Square. In the interests of the committee of the 
society that busies itself placing decorative lozenges 
on the birth-places of the famous it is well to record 
that I have it on hearsay evidence that this is where 
I was born. 

I can well remember, and as it were visualise, my 
father in that house, but only on one day of the 
week the Sunday. On other days I cannot 
remember to have seen him at all. But I can recall 
many details of the house itself, and well remember 
that the library window looked on to New Street, in 
which lived our chemist and druggist ; and of an 
evening I would go into the library and climb on a 
chair to enjoy the glory of his huge coloured bottles 
in the window, and then meanly pull faces at the 
nauseous shop in revenge for the wrongs I had 
suffered at its hands. 

My brother and I took our morning walks in 
Dorset Square. In the early sixties Dorset Square 
was a vast jungle. Speaking from memory, it con- 
tained well-accredited lions and bears in its fastnesses. 
I saw Dorset Square the other day. It has sadly 

13 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

shrunk. Those giant shrubs that towered over your 
head, hiding you securely from a distracted nurse, are 
no longer there. Regent's Park was my other play- 
ground, or, rather, that part of it opposite Sussex 
Terrace called " The Enclosure," to which we had a 
right of entrance and a key. I do not know that it 
is a matter of importance now, but it was of the 
essence of happiness in those days that our good 
nurse ex dbundanti cautela carried the key of " The 
Enclosure " in one hand, and my brother and I con- 
tested for her other hand, as a prize of great worth. 
Regent's Park retains more of its size than Dorset 
Square, but it is not the illimitable veldt that it was. 
" The Enclosure " was snobbish, and its snobbery has 
been very properly curtailed. I well remember how 
we envied the nurseless urchins in their freedom of 
the real park across the water. It was on that 
treacherous lake some forty people were drowned in 
a terrible ice accident. I remember being hurried 
out of " The Enclosure " past the tent into which they 
were carrying the drowned. For many months 
afterwards there was the draining, levelling, and then 
the refilling of the lake. All this work I superin- 
tended from the banks, and at last watched the 
water come bubbling up from a huge pipe into the 
new-made lake with as deep a satisfaction as the 
chief engineer himself. 

But in all these childhood's scenes I do not recall 
that my father had any part. He was, of course, at 
this time a very hard-worked man, but Sunday 
morning he always devoted to his children. I can 

14 



HOME 

picture his solid, kindly face and see his commanding 
figure wrapped in a dressing-gown of many colours 
an old friend as he sat at the end of the breakfast- 
table when we were brought down from the nursery. 
The only other member of the party was Tiger, a 
favourite tabby cat of whom my father was very 
proud. He had a great love of cats, and at one time 
possessed three, which he named Hie, Haec, and Hoc. 
The appositeness of the names came to me with the 
Latin grammar and years of discretion. Two 
journals were his Sabbath reading The Spectator 
and Athenczum, but he laid down his paper when 
we arrived, and took that real interest in our affairs 
which is the only key to children's hearts. One 
great task was the skilful arrangement of all the 
animals of Noah's Ark on the breakfast-table, which 
was rewarded with buttered toast. In a spirit of fair- 
ness Tiger was requested to walk among the animals. 
This if he did without mishap earned him the guer- 
don of cream. Then there was a careful examina- 
tion on our weekly studies of the pages of Punch, 
which my father held rightly to be the earliest 
nursery text-book of history and sociology for the 
English child. This was followed by dramatic 
recitals of Mr. Southey's " Three Bears " and some 
of Jane and Ann Taylor's original poems, and other 
childhood's sagas. And then when the nurse's 
fateful knock was heard at the door to take the 
young gentlemen for a walk, off went my father's 
huge dressing-gown, two wildly excited urchins 
sprang into the limitless depths of the arm-chair and 

15 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

were covered up by the garment, and my father with 
dramatic breathlessness shouted " Come in ! " and 
was " discovered " to use a phrase of the theatre 
calmly reading the paper at the table. The same 
dialogue was always maintained. The nurse inquired 
where the children were ; the father expressed his 
astonishment at their disappearance ; Tiger was 
asked if he had seen them, and remained silent. 
Then an elaborate search with hopeless ejaculations of 
the searchers was received with ill-concealed shrieks 
of amusement by the hiders. At last they are dis- 
covered, and the curtain falls on the most glorious 
hour in the whole week. For just as men and women 
love the old plays and the old ideas of drama, so 
children will have the same game of hide-and-seek or 
what not, and play it in the same way with the same 
absurd ritual religiously carried out, and he alone is 
worthy of fatherhood who can take an honourable part 
in such affairs with real solemnity and enthusiasm. 

But these baby days departed, and the Sunday 
mornings had to be passed in Christ Church, Maryle- 
bone, surely the most unsociable church I have ever 
entered. I used to shudder for fear that after all 
heaven might turn out to be something like Christ 
Church, Marylebone. It still haunts me in dyspeptic 
dreams. It was a huge classical building, as cheerful 
as a family vault, with one painting over the altar 
how many hours have I spent gazing at it and no 
other memorable decoration. The congregation 
were penned apart in high boxes. Our box had 
tall red hassocks. I used to be allowed to stand on 

16 



HOME 

one of these, until I fell off it intb the bottom of the 
pen audibly and demonstratively. After that I 
was consigned to the floor, from which you could 
not see even bonnets, and from this limbo I only 
emerged by gradual growth. The preacher wore 
a black gown. My earliest meeting with him must, 
I think, have been at the font. I remember his 
grave tones, clear voice and dignified presence. I 
know now he must have preached excellent sermons, 
for he was the Rev. Llewelyn Davies. But in those 
days my brother and I fully believed he was the 
anonymous " righteous man " in the Psalms whose 
doings and sayings are so carefully chronicled. 

From Regent's Park we moved away to Kensing- 
ton, and thence to Holland Park. Here it was that 
in the seventies, during the last few years of my 
father's life, I heard in snatches from himself and 
his older friends something of the story of his career. 
I was then at King's College School, which at that 
time was situated below Somerset House, and as 
I travelled up and down in the Underground 
often with my father and did my home-lessons in 
his library and dined with him nearly every night, 
and often went to the play with him of an evening, 
I had the good fortune to see more of him than I 
should have done had I been away at school. 

He must have had a keen struggle in his early 
days to reach the position he did at the Bar. Born 
in London in 1816, he was only sixteen years old 
when the sudden death of his father made it neces- 
sary for him to earn his own living. He was then 

J.s. 17 c 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

being educated at the Philological School, an old 
foundation in Marylebone, but he left school at 
once and went into a merchant's office. Edwin 
Abbott, the head-master of the Philological School, 
continued his firm friend, and years afterwards 
his daughter Elizabeth married my father, who was 
then a Serjeant. But I do not propose to write 
of my mother in these pages, since I could not do 
justice to the grace of her memory, and the dim 
vision of it is my own affair. 

The Abbotts were, as I understand, an old family 
of yeomen and farmers in Dorsetshire. I have seen 
a pamphlet concerning the great George Abbott, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, who bravely withstood 
James I. in the matter of the Essex divorce, showing 
that he was of the same family. I hope it may be so, 
My father used to laugh at genealogy, but for my 
part I rather like to speculate on pedigrees and 
family history. It is pleasant to trace one's line 
back to tanners and farmers and attorneys, even with 
a dash of the Church thrown in. The ancestry of 
the horse and the greyhound is a study for every 
gambler on the course, and why should not a student 
of eugenics be interested in the evolution of the 
entries for the human race ? 

Whilst he was in a merchant's office my father 
attended classes at the Aldersgate Institution, a 
valuable educational society promoted by Lord 
Brougham, and he became a constant attendant at 
a debating club held there. He was a great be- 
liever in orderly debate as a method of education, 

18 



HOME 

V 

and was always ready to discuss with me the subject 
of debate in my School Society. The art of speaking 
he thought should be equally a part of elementary 
education with reading and writing, and his view 
was that if such were the case the charlatan and the 
windbag would have less chance of capturing the ear 
of the public. 

From the merchant's stool he found his way to 
the British Museum, where he was an assistant for 
some years, and formed a lasting friendship with 
Anthony Panizzi, who was then keeper of the 
printed books. I remember Richard Garnett show- 
ing me one of the slips in the catalogue in my 
father's handwriting in the days before that great 
work was printed. All this time he was reading 
for the Bar and taking an active interest in the 
political movements of the day. George Jacob 
Holyoake remembers him as a young law-student 
at No. 5, Gray's Inn Road. He describes him as a 
stalwart, energetic platform speaker, and notes that 
he ultimately acquired two styles like O'Connell, 
the more gaseous of which he retained solely to 
illuminate electors. 

In 1842, the year before he was called, he was one 
of the most active members of the Moral Force 
Chartists. Hanging on my walls in a dark, old- 
fashioned veneered frame is a large print in many 
colours of the famous Charter a harmless exploded 
torpedo nowadays no doubt but in 1842 the sym- 
bol of a grave reality. For Chartism, as Carlyle 
pointed out, was " the bitter discontent grown 

19 c 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

fierce and mad, the wrong condition therefore, or 
the wrong disposition of the Working Classes of 
England/' With the ring of the true prophet in 
his words he foresaw in 1842 that Chartism " did 
not begin yesterday ; will by no means end this 
day or to-morrow . . . new and ever new embodi- 
ments, chimeras madder or less mad have to 
continue." 

My father's part at this time was the editing of a 
magazine called the National Associations Gazette. 
The problem it set itself out to deal with was why 
when all kinds of property were recognised and 
protected the property which a man has in his 
labour was to be unsupported and unrepresented. 
The political programme, in the " order of going in," 
so to speak, was (i) the Charter ; (2) Universal 
Suffrage of men and women ; and (3) National 
Education. I have often heard my father in argu- 
ment with other reformers laying down too dog- 
matically as I thought that National Education 
before Suffrage was the cart before the horse. If 
you educate masses to think and deny them 
the power of practically endeavouring to translate 
their thought into national action it is bound to 
break out into anti-national actions. Who shall 
say in regard to recent events in England and 
India that there was not much good sense in his 
reasoning. 

From my very earliest childhood I seem to have 
heard of Chartists and Chartism and the " Condition 
of England," question which, after all, remains with 

20 



HOME 

us to-day turbulently unanswered. Very often of a 
Sunday afternoon we w&uld drive over to some 
obscure lodgings in Paddington to see Mr. William 
Lovett. I remember him as a mild, amiable, white- 
haired old gentleman who had a wonderful facility for 
making models, and whilst he and my father talked 
of the old days of the National Complete Suffrage 
Union and Birmingham meetings, I used to inspect 
with ardent curiosity some ingenious model of 
Windsor Castle upon which Mr. Lovett was at work. 
I think my father and some others assisted 
Mr. Lovett, and I know that he had a great admira- 
tion and affection for him, which continued until 
his death in 1877. I stood in great awe of Mr. Lovett, 
for I knew that he had been heavily fined for refusing 
to serve in the Militia in days long ago, and had 
suffered imprisonment in Warwick gaol for his 
protest against the unconstitutional employment of 
the Metropolitan police in Birmingham. This frail, 
delicate old man, with the cunning fingers building 
quaint models in a back parlour in Paddington, the 
sweetest and friendliest of human beings, had been, 
in the eyes of the government, a revolutionist. I was 
always ready to go with my father to see him, I 
liked the mystery of him. 

The energy my father displayed in his early years 
at the Bar must have been considerable. He was 
much in demand as a lecturer, and as he told me, for 
a year or two his main source of income was the 
delivery throughout England of his lectures on the 
Oratory of the Bar, the Pulpit and the Stage, and 

31 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

another interesting series on the French Revolution, 
a subject in which he was deeply read. 

I came across a gentleman in Manchester who well 
remembered his lecturing at the Athenaeum in 1844, 
and gave him great praise for his dramatic recitals on 
the Oratory of the Stage. But his practice at the Bar 
must soon have made lecturing tours unnecessary 
and impossible. When he was called he said in fun 
to some friends he was entertaining, that as soon as 
he was earning a thousand a year he would give them 
all a far better feast. The banquet took place within 
four years of the invitation. 

His interest in politics never diminished. But 
when he had made his great name as an advocate, 
all invitations to contest a seat in Parliament 
were refused. In 1847 he contested Norwich 
unsuccessfully against Lord Douro and Sir Samuel 
Peto, and in 1857 stood for Finsbury against 
Thomas Slingsby Duncombe, who was returned 
by a large majority. In this election he used 
to say his chances were seriously interfered with 
by a charge not true, in fact that he had 
signed a petition to open the Crystal Palace and 
British Museum on Sunday. As he explained, the 
only reason he had not signed such a petition was 
that he had never been asked. 

I have often heard my father speaking in Court, 
but it was at a time when I could understand very 
little of the merits of the dispute or the quality of 
the advocacy. He was one of the leaders of the 
Home Circuit, a veritable nest of giants, with Bovill, 



HOME 

Ballantine, Hawkins, L^ush and Shee. In those 
days the Home Circuit was a reality. It was before 
the abolition of local venue, and every case had to be 
set down in the assize town of the county in which 
it arose. Thus at Guildford, Kingston or Croydon, 
all Surrey cases had to be tried, and the lists took a 
fortnight or more to finish. My father sometimes 
took a furnished house at Guildford in the summer, 
and we all moved down there, and on occasion I 
was taken into Court to hear him speak. In later 
years I heard him in several cases, but in no speech 
of first-rate importance, and I never heard him 
defend a prisoner, at which, I have been told by 
good judges, he had few equals. I should say his 
great asset as an advocate was his honesty and 
openness. There is no such thing as first-rate 
advocacy without a large measure of frankness. 
He was very smooth and good-natured in cross- 
examination, recognising that to make your way 
through the defences of the enemy requires, if the 
enemy is alert, more strategy than force. He never 
indulged in those snappy interjections and quarrel- 
some interferences which are but too common, and 
which, to my mind, are the very badge and stamp of 
incompetent advocacy. I fancy to-day his speeches 
to the jury would be too ornate, too eloquent and too 
full of oratory, but in his own day, and among the 
juries he had to address, it was more true of him than 
of any other that " persuasion hung upon his lips/' 
Nor can I be very clear that his style was really too 
flamboyant, for I was brought up myself in the school 

23 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

of Russell and Holker on the Northern Circuit, where 
there was a passion for business methods, and curt 
address and the use of the bludgeon, rather than the 
rapier, in cross-examination, which has not even to 
this day penetrated to the more leisurely south. 
For I find that even in southern county courts 
advocates are known not only to demand the 
presence of juries, but to address them with great 
complacency on any subject at any distance from 
that subject. County court juries are nearly 
unknown in the North, where a trial is regarded more 
as a matter of business than an affair of display. 

When my late brother Judge Willis, K.C., was a 
junior he was a constant visitor at my father's 
house at Holland Park, and I well remember him 
telling a capital story of Holker's wit as an advocate. 
Holker was cross-examining a big, vulgar Jew 
jeweller in a money-lending case, and began by 
looking him up and down in a sleepy, dismal way, 
and drawled out, " Well, Mr. Moselwein, and what 
are you ? " 

" A genschelman," replied the jeweller with 
emphasis. 

" Just so, just so," ejaculated Holker with a 
dreary yawn, " but what were you, Mr. Moselwein, 
before you were a gentleman ? " 

The answer was drowned in a roar of laughter. 

" Capital story, Willis, and very clever/' said my 
father as he finished laughing, " always supposing 
Holker didn't want to get any admissions out of the 
fellow afterwards." 

24 



HOME 

It is a pleasant and fairly easy thing for an 
advocate to score off a witness, but it does not always 
mean business, and nothing is nearer to the gospel of 
the matter than this, that every unnecessary question 
in cross-examination is a blunder and every question 
the answer to which you have not foreseen is 
unnecessary. 

Affairs of conscience at the Bar and the duty of 
the advocate were often discussed between my 
father and his legal friends, and in the late seventies, 
when I was at King's College School, I heard many 
interesting conversations on these themes. 

As an illustration of his argument someone told a 
story of an old special pleader whose name I forget. 
Special pleaders, I may remind the reader, did not 
address the Court, but drafted the " pleadings," 
as they are called that is to say, the documents 
in which the parties state their respective cases 
and endeavour to settle the issue. In the old days 
these pleas were very technical, and special pleaders 
who signed and settled the claim, defence, rejoinder, 
sur-rejoinder, rebutter and sur-rebutter made good 
incomes out of constant but small fees. 

The Pleader was in his chambers in King's Bench 
Walk, when late one night a young Hebrew clerk 
of a firm of City solicitors rushed in, and throwing 
down half a guinea and some papers said, " I vant 
a plea." 

" But what sort of a plea what is the defence ? " 
asked the Pleader. 

" There is no defence," said the candid clerk, " but 

25 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

the governor says he vould like a set-off. He vants 
to gain time." 

" Hm ! " said the Pleader, " a merely dilatory plea 
to gain time. I don't approve of such a thing ; but 
still " 

He drew out his " Bullen and Leake " and copied 
out the first plea he came to, which was to the 
effect that by agreement made by and between the 
plaintiff and defendant, the deifendant bargained 
and sold to the plaintiff certain Russian hemp, to 
arrive by and be delivered by the ship Sarcophagus, 
at the price of 15 per ton, and after further formal- 
ities the defendant sought to set-off the price of this 
Russian hemp against the plaintiff's claim. This 
he handed to the boy, who took it away. 

A year afterwards the same lad returned with 
another set of defenceless papers and another half- 
guinea, and asked for a similar plea to be drawn. 
The Pleader looked at him doubtfully. 

" What became of that last case ? " he asked. 

" Ve proved your plea ! Ve proved it ! " cried 
the young clerk in triumph. " It vos magnificent ! 
Ve vant another. Ve cannot prove the same plea 
twice." 

The moral verdict seemed to go against the special 
pleader, who had not, it appeared, been properly 
instructed in the Russian hemp affair, and it led my 
father to a curious story of a case in which he had 
recently appeared in an inquiry de lunatico. I had 
driven down with him one Saturday some time 
before to Dr. Tuke's private asylum, where he went 

26 



HOME 

to interview his client. The gentleman had great 
wealth and was very eccentric, and had recently 
announced in public that he was our Saviour. 
He was certified as a lunatic and had demanded an 
inquiry. When we arrived at the house he was 
playing a game of billiards with his coat off, but he 
shook hands very amicably with my father and put 
his coat on, and he and the solicitor went along for 
a conference whilst I had a hundred up with a young 
doctor. I had never seen anyone who was supposed 
to be insane before and could not understand, how 
such a thing could possibly be suggested of the 
gentleman I had just met. My father told me on 
our way home that he had asked him all manner of 
questions, which he answered in the most business- 
like manner, and then he said, " I found I must ask 
him a question, about his mania. ' Have you or 
have you not,' I asked, ' maintained that you are 
our Saviour ? ' 

" I have," he said, " and I can give you proofs," 
and he proceeded to ramble incoherently and 
foolishly. " When he had finished," continued 
my father, " all I said was ' Well, Mr. X., no doubt 
you believe in it, and if you are asked about it you 
must speak the truth, but in my humble opinion it 
is not a strong point in our case.' 

" ' You think not ? ' asked Mr. X. eagerly. 

" ' I am sure of it,' said my father. ' Absolutely 
convinced of it.' Mr. X. nodded his head thought- 
fully, and so the conference ended." 

When the case came on, Ballantine for the 
27 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

relatives cross-examined Mr. X., who gave him very 
admirable, straightforward answers, until the jury 
shifted about uneasily and wondered why the man's 
liberty had been interfered with. At last Ballan- 
tine came to the conclusion he must get to grips 
with him, and suddenly asked him very sternly : 
" I put it to you, that on several occasions you have 
proclaimed yourself to be our Saviour ? Is that 
so ? Yes or no." 

Mr. X. smiled. 

" I have consulted my legal advisers on that point/' 
he replied in a firm, quiet voice, " and they are all 
clearly of opinion that it is not a strong point in 
my case, and under those circumstances I must 
decline to answer any questions about the matter." 

Ballantine could not get him to move from his 
resolution, and he was restored to his liberty and his 
estates. 

My father and Ballantine were great rivals at 
Westminster and on Circuit, and I remember my 
father coming home with a capital story against him- 
self which he used to tell with much glee. He and 
Ballantine were engaged in a case before Baron 
Martin, and he heard a Scots clerk in whispered 
tones pointing out to a friend from beyond Tweed 
the various celebrities. 

" Who is yon ? " whispered the visitor, pointing 
to the judge. 

" Martin ! Baron Martin," replied the cicerone. 
" He's a grand mon, a great mon ! " 

" And the mon that's speakin' the noo ! " 
28 



HOME 

" That's Ballantine. He's a great advocate. He's 
a grand mon ! " 

" And the big mon sitting next him ? " 

My father pricked up his ears intently. The 
guide's voice fell a semitone to a minor key. " That ! 
Oh, that's Pony ! Serjeant Pony. He's a highly 
over-r-rated mon." 

I wish my father could have lived long enough 
for me to have heard him at his best at one of those 
Garrick dinners, where he loved to get two or three 
gathered together in the right place and enjoy 
pleasant discourse over the walnuts and wine. 
Good port and good stories were his hobbies. There 
may be better ones, but I doubt it. And anyhow " so 
long as a man rides his hobby-horse peacefully and 
quietly along the King's highway, and neither com- 
pels you nor me to get up behind him pray, sir, 
what have either you or I to do with it ? " But if 
I had had the sense or foresight to play the Boswell, 
what a collection of good stories even I might have 
chronicled. Years after he was gone I was brought 
up to a London county court to fight an employers' 
liability case, and the counsel against me was 
Mr. Wildy Wright. Good-natured, obtrusive and 
antique were his methods of advocacy, but I was 
glad to have met him in the flesh, for he recalled to 
my mind my father returning from Croydon Assizes 
bubbling over with delight about a story of a " certain 
judge " recently appointed and Mr. Wildy Wright. 
The judge had been puzzled by a fierce objection 
to evidence made by Mr. Wildy Wright, and reserved 

29 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

his ruling on this point until he had consulted his 
brother judge at the adjournment. 

During the luncheon interval he put the point to 
his brother, who was deeply puzzled. 

" And who raised the point ? " he asked after a 
few moments of complicated thought. 

" Wildy Wright. 11 

" Oh ! " replied his brother with a sigh of relief, 
" Wildy Wright ! Overrule it. And if he makes 
any other objections, overrule them too." 

The learned judge, much relieved, went back to 
Court, and in courteous, silvern tones said, 
" Mr. Wright, I have carefully considered the 
objection you raised before the adjournment and 
consulted my learned brother, and we are both 
agreed that I ought to overrule it. And I may say 
for your assistance that if in the course of the case 
you make any other objections, I shall feel it my duty 
to overrule those also/' 

Now I begin to remember those old days and that 
very happy home, I feel I should like to try and 
paint many pictures of its happiness, but it would be 
far from my purpose. All I wish to set down is that 
from the very first, like Mr. Vincent Crummles's 
pony, who, you will remember, went on circuit all 
his life, I was brought up among briefs and the talk 
of law shop and the traditions of the profession. It 
was always one of my ambitions to go to the Bar, 
but I had very little hope then that it would be 
realised. My elder brother, John Humffreys Parry, 
who chose afterwards to go on the stage and, after 

30 



HOME 

playing in America with Richard Mansfield, died 
at the beginning of a brilliant career, was far 
better equipped than I was to wear my father's 
robes when he should lay them down. More- 
over, in early life, to use a north-country phrase, 
I " enjoyed " bad health. I had nearly every fever 
known to physicians and fell into the surgeon's 
hands twice, breaking a collar-bone and nearly losing 
my left hand with an accident arising out of and in 
the course of my employment by running a chisel 
through it whilst building a toy theatre. In these 
and other ways my school-days were often interfered 
with, and I have been " backward " as the phrase is 
ever since. 

And how things might have shaped themselves 
had my father lived, I cannot say. But that was 
not to be. For in January, 1880, with little warning, 
a tragedy swept away the home that in my young 
seeming was the one beautifully permanent, solid 
fact in the whole world. My father and mother died 
within a day of one another and were buried on the 
same morning. And there was no home, only a 
memory. 



CHAPTER III 

STUDENT DAYS 

Ah, you have much to learn; we can't know all things at 
twenty. 

CLOUGH : " The Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich." 

As a great writer says, " I am naturally averse to 
egotism and hate self -laudation consumedly," and 
yet I must tell this story once again, for it seems to 
me the natural motto of my undertaking. I was 
passing up Peter Street away from my Court when 
I heard two railway clerks discussing a case I had 
just decided. This was their dialogue, with formal 
parts, as we say in the law, omitted. 

" ist Clerk : How the did he get to 

5? 

" 2nd Clerk : I don't know. 

" ist Clerk : I think he's a fool. 

" 2nd Clerk : I think he's a fool (a long 

pause, then as an afterthought), but I think he 
did his best." 

In the evening of the day on which I overheard that 
excellent saying I was at a public dinner with no 
reporters present not that their absence or presence 
ever worried me very much, for the Manchester 
reporters were all kind friends of mine, and stacked 
the wild oats of my after-dinner chatter into very 

32 



STUDENT DAYS 

neat sheaves of morning print. The fact, however, 
enabled Dean Maclure to be expansive. In pro- 
posing my health, after many sarcastic and amusing 
allusions to my varied virtues, he expressed the 
hope alas ! not fulfilled that, as he alone could do 
justice to the subject, he might live long enough to 
write my epitaph. 

That was the cue for the story, and I shall never 
forget the Dean's genial roar of laughter as I pictured 
him unveiling in his beloved cathedral a little white 
marble plaque, on which was cut in severe black 
letters : 



HE WAS 

A FOOL, 

BUT 
HE DID HIS BEST. 



I remind my readers of this story here at the 
beginning of things, because, looking forward to the 
round unvarnished tale I have to tell, I am very 
conscious that I shall convince them of the justice of 
the first part of the epitaph, and if I nothing 
extenuate and set down naught but what is strictly 
accurate, I am by no means sure that when the 
faculty is applied for in the Ecclesiastical Court to 
erect that little marble tribute to my memory some- 
one will not enter an appearance with these recollec- 
tions of mine exhibited to an affidavit, and move 
to strike out the last line of the epitaph as 
embarrassing and irrelevant. 

T.s. 33 D 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

The first foolish thing I did in connection with my 
twenty-five years sojourn in Manchester was to 
come there at all. I remember Henn Collins then 
a leader on the circuit telling me, with very clean- 
cut emphasis, what he thought of my folly only a 
week after I had settled down. It was the Peter 
Street verdict, without the adjective, and this was 
repeated to me by very many of the kind friends I 
made in the first few months after my arrival. 
Everyone asked me, " Why had I come to Man- 
chester ? " and for the life of me I could not give 
them a coherent and logical answer. 

But there I was, a very junior barrister, with a very 
junior wife and a still more junior daughter, all 
desirous of being comfortably provided for ; and to 
my eternal gratitude and surprise, Manchester rose 
to the occasion and not only to use the slang of the 
tables " saw me," but " went one better " than my 
best hopes in contributing to my career. 

What little accidents determine the course of a 
man's life ! We start like streams from the mountain 
source, intending to fight our way down into the 
valleys where our fathers have preceded us. But 
on the upper slopes at the outset of our career we 
meet some boulder or bank of earth and are turned 
west instead of east, and so away into quite other 
valleys and along towards another sea. If anyone 
had told me when I was eighteen that I should be 
County Court Judge of Manchester within fifteen 
years I should have put a sovereign on the other way 
or given the long odds in a hopeful spirit. 

34 



STUDENT DAYS 

For there was nothing of Manchester in my 
thoughts when, after my father's death, I left King's 
College School and gave up for ever those pleasant 
journeys in the old underground railway, where we 
learned our lessons by inferior gas-light in an atmo- 
sphere of sulphur. Honestly, looking back on that 
school in the underworld of Somerset House, I 
have an uneasy feeling that there was no health in 
it. But there were pleasant companions, and, if you 
cared for such things, much classical learning and 
Church doctrine. It did not occur to the boy mind 
that light and air were necessary to healthy life, 
and of course it had never entered the thoughts 
of the pastors and masters responsible for that 
scholastic warren. Whilst I was there I carried 
away with me a few prizes and a broken nose, and a 
knowledge of those portions of the Church Catechism 
which fitted in with the place in class where I sat 
of a Monday morning. I was sixteen when I left 
school, and for the first time in my life began to 
seriously consider the desirability of studying 
things. I have been some sort of a student ever 
since. 

My first idea was to study mathematics with a 
view to trying for a scholarship at Cambridge. I 
wonder if I had followed that stream into what 
dead sea it would have carried me. I know as a 
fact that I was accounted fairly good at the subject, 
but that is difficult for me to believe to-day, for 
anything more complicated than very simple 
addition I always refer in a thankful spirit to the 

35 02 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Registrar. Afterwards I fancied I would be an artist, 
and joined the Slade School and drew in the 
" Antique " for a few months. I got very little 
encouragement there. Legros once looked at one of 
my drawings, and took up a piece of charcoal as if 
to show me some of the errors of line in my work ; 
but his heart failed him. He sighed, shook his head, 
grunted a guttural French grunt of despair, and 
turned on his heel. However, I can boast that I 
am a pupil of Legros, and if he treasured my piece 
of charcoal it may yet be a valuable lot at Christie's 
who knows ? 

At the end of 1881 I had made up my mind that 
it was time to commence a career with money in it. 
I chose the Bar because I knew no other. I went 
down to the old courts at Westminster, and, finding 
one of my father's clerks, got him to take me to 
Sir Henry James, as he then was. He was a very 
old friend of my father, and not only signed the 
necessary papers with pleasure, but introduced me 
to Sir Farrer Herschell, who was sitting next to 
him, and he signed as well. With such godfathers, 
I was cordially received into the ancient house of 
the Middle Temple, after satisfying two reverend 
benchers that I knew enough Latin and history to 
make it unwise for them to expose the amount of 
their own knowledge of these subjects by asking me 
further questions. 

Thursday, January 19, 1882 ! More than 
thirty years ago. And yet the memory of my 
first dinner at the Temple is here to-day ^ 

36 



STUDENT DAYS 

winnowed out of the myriad happenings of all 
these years. 

I see a thin slip of humanity shrinking among his 
elders into that historical Elizabethan hall and 
asking the old mace bearer with whispering humble- 
ness where he may sit. Unknowingly, he chooses 
the place of captain of a mess the arbiter of the 
feast of four and, taking courage from the un- 
wonted gown, brazens out his position until his want 
of knowledge of the ceremonies concerning the first 
glass of wine exposes him as a newcomer. 

I know that there was plenty of genial talk and 
laughter at that table, but I remember none of it. 
For in my heart of hearts I was wondering why I had 
come there at all, and feeling that the ghosts of all 
the great Templars of the past were chuckling 
among the rafters at my folly, and that, truly, I 
was honest food for their mocks. But among 
all my hopes and fears and forebodings Man- 
chester certainly had no place. Yet the " writing 
on the wall " was there, or, rather, he was 
sitting with his back to it on my left-hand side. 
His name was Smith, and he came from Manchester. 

Richard Smith, who sat next to me on the occasion 
of my first dinner in hall, was my earliest experience 
of Manchester, and indeed if I had never met him I 
cannot suppose that I should ever have joined the 
Northern Circuit. He had come to the Temple late 
in life and was nearing his call. I believe he had 
already been a bleacher, a dealer in pictures, and a 
clerk to a public body. I know he had been at 

37 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Oxford, because in an unlucky moment on circuit 
in a heated discussion after dinner he had called in 
aid of his argument his University degree, and was 
ever afterwards known as " Smith, B.A." But for 
me it was sufficient that he was the only man I ever 
met in the Temple who could talk lovingly and 
intelligently about pictures. He had the square 
face of a lion, wearing in those days a heavy beard. 
He barked and growled at you in argument and was 
cocksure he was right. That is a very Manchester 
virtue. I write of it with jealousy, for it is an 
attribute I have vainly striven to acquire. You 
know the story of one of Manchester's most eminent 
sons who was always in the right. Some friend 
remonstrated with him gently, saying, " Why be 
such an egoist ? " 

" Egoist ! " was the calm reply. "I'm not an 
egoist I know ! " 

And so it was with Dick Smith. He knew ! 
But, Micawber-like, he failed to persuade others to 
take him at his own valuation. His venture at the 
Bar was not a fortunate one. I like to remember 
him, full of hope and enthusiasm spending a day or 
two with me in the summer, sketching on the Thames 
at Datchet, or playing chess in the common room in 
the winter and laying down the law on every 
conceivable subject in his rough, Manchester tongue. 
When he left the Temple to start his practice in 
Manchester, the Middle Temple common room 
seemed to me for some days " remote, unfriended 
melancholy, slow." But this was only a passing 

38 



STUDENT DAYS 

mood. Dick Smith and his pride of Manchester 
became a fading memory, and I continued to 
thoroughly enjoy my three years' work in the 
Temple. 

I cannot help thinking that men make a mistake 
in rushing up from the University to eat their dinners 
and getting called to the Bar directly they leave 
college. Law is, at least, as uncertain and dangerous 
a science to the patient as medicine, and the 
student of law should be compelled to " walk " the 
courts, as the medical student is compelled to 
" walk " the hospitals. For my part, I attribute 
what success I had at the Bar to the fact that I 
worked at the practical business of the profession 
for three years before I was called. I read in 
different chambers, and during the last year of 
student days had the privilege of reading with 
Danckwerts, who was and is, no doubt, one of the 
greatest lawyers of our day. It is curious to remem- 
ber that in 1884 the gossip of the Temple was 
concerned in discussing whether Danckwerts or 
Asquith would succeed R. S. Wright as Treasury 
" devil," so blind are the quidnuncs to the throw 
of the shuttle of fate. 

A junior with such a heavy practice as 
Danckwerts's cannot do much more than give you 
the run of his chambers, but that, as Loehnis said, 
was like " turning a team of asses into a field of 
oats." Loehnis devilled for Danckwerts in those 
days. He was a shrewd, sound lawyer and a kind- 
hearted senior to our pupil room, and the Bar lost 

39 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

an honourable and learned brother by his untimely 
death. Considering the work he did and the hours 
he worked, it was wonderful how much personal 
attention Danckwerts gave to his pupils. He would 
often call one of us into his room and discuss some 
opinion or pleading we had drawn. I remember on 
one occasion, having pointed out to me the hopeless 
errors of the legal opinion I had given, he wound up 
his remarks by saying : " And suppose, when you 
are called, you get a case of that kind, what is going 
to happen to you ? " 

" When I get a case of that importance," I 
replied, " I shall certainly insist on having you as a 
junior." 

The great man laughingly agreed that I had made 
a wise resolution. 

Bertram Cox was undoubtedly the ablest pupil in 
my time. He neglected an ordinary career at the 
Bar and specialised on heavy public legal work, and 
was rightly rewarded by being appointed legal Under- 
secretary to the Colonial Office a position which I 
believe Mr. Chamberlain invented in order that the 
office might have the benefit of his services. He is 
now the solicitor to the Inland Revenue. Another 
pupil was Bartle Frere, who is a legal luminary 
at Gibraltar. Danckwerts seemed to instil into his 
pupils the capacity to arrive. Frere was one of the 
merriest fellows in the world, always doing some 
careless and amusing thing, on the strength of which 
Cox and I built up apocryphal stories about him 
which we insisted upon as traditions of the pupil 

40 



STUDENT DAYS 

room. Thus it was asserted to be Frere who, after 
carefully studying the papers in an action for 
seduction, had drafted a defence of contributory 
negligence. I believe, however, there was some 
foundation for the story that in his early days he 
wrote an opinion to the effect that, as every step 
taken up to date on behalf of the plaintiff was useless, 
the best thing he could do was to drop his present 
action and commence an action for negligence against 
his solicitor, 

" Excellent advice, no doubt," said Danckwerts 
dryly, " but you seem to forget that we are advising 
the solicitor/' 

The last time I met Frere was in Norwich, about 
1896. I had gone to sit as judge for Addison, and 
took my seat in the old Castle Court with great 
dignity, bowing to the Bar, when I looked up and 
my eye caught Frere's. 

" Good heavens, it's Parry ! " he cried out in 
an audible voice, and laughed heartily at the idea 
of finding me on the bench. The Court did not 
hear the interruption, but Parry did, and enjoyed 
it hugely. We dined at the Maid's Head that 
evening, and had a pleasant crack together, recall- 
ing many stories of the old pupil room in New 
Court. No doubt memory brightens o'er the past, 
but certainly no youngsters ever learned their 
business under pleasanter auspices than we did. 

Outside the pupil room there were lectures to 
attend, scholarships to be read for, dinners in the old 
hall, and debating clubs meeting on several evenings 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

in the week. Mindful of my father's advice, I had 
always kept in touch with an old boys' debating club 
at King's College School, and now I joined the 
Hardwicke and a very pleasant and more social club, 
the Mansfield. The Hardwicke was a conservative 
institution, and I remember startling the ancients of 
our benches by raising a debate on the effect of the 
Pre-Raphaelite movement on the art of the country. 
Everyone spoke on it, and the frank expressions of 
dogmatic ignorance and the enthusiastic denuncia- 
tions of the works of the school were thoroughly 
healthy and entertaining. Still, we mustered a 
stalwart minority, and a little later gained a prac- 
tical victory over the Philistines. I was elected 
on the committee of the Hardwicke, on which 
Clavell Salter now a K.C. and M.P. for the 
Basingstoke division was an important official. 
The society was in funds, and we resolved to 
spend them in creature comforts ; not in olive 
draperies and sunflowers, perhaps, but in reason- 
able luxuries. Our meeting room was at that 
time floored with boards, the door opening from 
the road banged violently whenever anyone entered, 
and the uncovered gas-jets in the centre glared and 
hissed at you distressingly during your oration. 
Without a word of our purpose to the general body 
of members we adorned the room with a carpet, a 
screen to hide the door, and some glass globes for the 
gas. Incensed with indignation and breathing fire 
and war, the hosts of the Old Bailey came down upon 
us in wrath. Geoghan the eloquent Cagney the 

42 



STUDENT DAYS 

persuasive, and the subtle Burnie closured our 
debate, carried the suspension of the standing orders, 
and on a motion to surcharge the upstart members 
of the committee rent the air with denunciations of 
our malversation of the funds and our want of 
patriotism in destroying the ancient amenities of 
their beloved Hardwicke. It was with difficulty 
that our side continued the debate, which was of an 
earnest and fiery nature, until the hour of the 
adjournment. By next week we whipped up our 
supporters, who were base enough to prefer comfort 
to tradition, and we remained in office. The pro- 
phecies of decadence and disaster came to naught. 
The Hardwicke survives in prosperity. Long may 
it flourish. 

This habit of debate and discussion naturally led 
us to desire to try our strength in a wider field of 
battle. Some took one side and some another, 
but for myself, from hereditary example perhaps, I 
have always been fond of belonging to a minority ; 
and now that I have been a total abstainer from 
politics for many years, I may freely admit that in 
the eighties I was an ardent Radical, and, naturally, 
a disciple of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, who in that 
day was preaching the reforms that Mr. Lloyd George 
is now putting on the Statute Book. I was a 
member of the Eighty Club, then a Whig institution, 
and as Radical speakers were greatly in demand I got 
many opportunities of political speaking all over the 
country. As a very young Radical in a minority 
among many superior persons, it was, of course, part 

43 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

of my duty to criticise my elders and betters when- 
ever I got the opportunity. As an artist friend said 
of me, I had an unfortunate habit of " getting out of 
drawing/' even outside the studio, and I remember 
very well an instance of this at a dinner given in the 
autumn of 1895 to Trevelyan. It was the custom of 
the club for a senior to propose and a junior to second 
a vote of thanks to our guest. On this occasion 
Haldane was the senior and I was the junior. I had 
made up an eloquent little speech, but in accordance 
with my usual habit then and now I made another. 
Haldane had as I thought rather unnecessarily 
made a great many allusions to the " nephew of 
Lord Macaulay," as though Trevelyan bore no other 
claim to fame. When my turn came I got a round 
of applause for welcoming our guest as himself, a 
personality far more interesting to the working 
politician of to-day than the mere nephew of a Whig 
peer. Trevelyan himself seemed to enjoy the joke, 
and wound up the proceedings by an appeal to the 
younger members for missionary work, in which he 
referred very pleasantly to some of my father's 
Radical fights of old days, and congratulated me on 
belonging to the true faith. 

I was naturally rather elated as I walked home 
along the Embankment with our energetic honorary 
secretary, J. A. B. B. Bruce the Busy Bee, as we 
called him. 

" No doubt, Parry," he said in his quiet, thought- 
ful way, " you think you've been jolly clever, but 
what I'm wondering is when Haldane is Lord 

44 



STUDENT DAYS 

Chancellor, and you want a County Court judgeship, 
will you get it ? " 

I hope it is not lese-majeste for me to repeat this 
story to-day, when at length the hopes of the Temple 
have been fulfilled and the double event which 
Bruce foresaw has come to pass. It was a common- 
place of Temple talk that some day Haldane would 
be Lord Chancellor, but it required the deep fore- 
sight of Bruce to hazard the suggestion that I should 
ever be in a position to apply for a judgeship of the 
County Court. 

And I cannot look back on those old days without 
seeing the figure of one dear friend the bravest 
and kindest of men, Archie Stewart. I know this, 
that no one who came within his sway can have 
forgotten his memory, and there must yet be many 
in the Temple who will be glad to recall it. Tall, 
handsome, broad-shouldered and erect, swinging 
with a curious gait across the courts of the Temple, 
one could not but be attracted by his presence. 
His frank engaging smile, his cheery voice all alike 
evidenced the joy of life. And yet when he entered 
the library and the attendant stepped up to him 
and lifted off his coat with its heavy cape, you saw 
at a glance the tragedy that his brave heart never 
acknowledged. Both his arms were paralysed and 
deformed from childhood and were practically 
useless. He could write slowly and with diffi- 
culty, pushing the pen by a movement of the 
shoulder, but in nearly every ordinary movement 
in life, in eating, dressing, carrying and lifting 

45 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

he required assistance. And yet he would start 
away from Kensington in the morning and come 
down to the Temple, leaving his servant at home 
in the knowledge that throughout London he 
would always find someone to help him. When 
you got used to his movements you did not seem 
to notice his deformity, so little did he make of it 
himself, and so cleverly did he use the little strength 
and capacity there were in his hands and arms. 
The things that he could do were wonderful. A light 
wineglass he could lift with his lips, drink from it and 
replace it almost gracefully, and he could pick up a 
weighted chessman it was his favourite game, and 
he played above the ordinary in his mouth and hurl 
it accurately on to any square on the board. His 
favourite method was to steer the men along with 
his pipe, but in moments of triumph and enthusiasm 
he seized them in his lips. He was a constant 
speaker at the Hardwicke clear, shrewd and 
learned. How he read so much and had conquered 
his enormous difficulties it is hard to understand. 
Among other things achieved, he had learned to 
swim, and he could cast a bowl from his instep 
with cunning, skill and accuracy. In due course he 
was called to the Bar, and whenever I came to town 
I used to turn into our old chambers in Pump Court, 
and find Stewart smoking like a furnace and laying 
down the law to some junior in large practice who 
had come round to have a few words with him about 
a difficulty. It was curious how many men accounted 
learned in the law were well pleased to have 

46 



STUDENT DAYS 

their views ratified or reformed by Archie Stewart. 
I remember hearing him hold at bay a Divisional 
Court, consisting of Coleridge, C.J., and R. S. 
Wright, J., with a learned argument about a demand 
for rent at common law, in which he gave them an 
interesting dissertation on the legal history and 
archaeology of the matter, with few notes and, of 
course, without books, for he was unable to hold 
them. The Court rightly complimented him on his 
performance, and thinking ahead in those days I used 
to imagine what a great judge my friend would have 
made, with his bright logical Scots mind and his deep 
sympathy with human nature down to the lowest, 
which he had learned from the respect and kind- 
ness shown to his misfortune. He told me that 
in all his wanderings about London day and night 
alone no one had ever offered to rob him, though he 
was in the habit of asking any stranger to take his 
money out of his pocket to pay railway or other 
fares. I was not the only one who predicted for 
Stewart some position of honour in his profession. 
But it was not to be. Very suddenly one summer 
holiday he was taken. It was at his home at 
Rannoch. He belonged to an ancient race of 
Stewarts, and in his quaint way used to boast that 
if he were to sue for the Crown in forma pauperis 
there would be flutterings in high places. Some 
years afterwards I made a pious journey to his 
resting-place. In his ancestral park, on which the 
blue peak of his beloved Schiehallion looks down, 
there, surrounded by grey stone walls and tall 

47 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

fir trees, he lies among cross-legged knights in armour, 
tall well-limbed warriors of his race, but among 
them all there is not one who fought the fight with 
a braver heart than the last comer. 

It begins to dawn upon me that all these beckoning 
shadows and calling shapes which throng into my 
memory when I begin to write of my student days 
in the Temple are keeping me too long from the main 
purpose of my story, but in my next chapter I will 
at least get called to the Bar, and then, as there will 
be no work for me in town, I shall have to pack 
up my bundle and go into the wide, wide world to 
seek my fortune. 



CHAPTER IV 

CALLED TO THE BAR 

is it not well that there should be what we call Professions, 
or Bread-studies (Brodzwecke) pre-appointed us ? Here, circling 
like the gin-horse, for whom partial or total blindness is no evil, 
the Bread-artist can travel contentedly round and round, still 
fancying that it is forward and forward, and realise much : for 
himself victual ; for the world an additional horse's power in 
the grand corn-mill or hemp-mill of Economic Society. 

CARLYLE : " Sartor Resartus." 

IN 1884 I was appointed by Mr. Justice Mathew 
to the first legal office I had the honour to hold, and 
went with him on the Oxford Circuit as judge's 
marshal. Mr. Justice Mathew was a very old 
friend of my father, and was one of the team that 
prosecuted Arthur Orton for perjury. Of those 
five, three survivors now remained ; Hawkins, 
Mathew, and Bowen, and all were on the bench. A 
judge's marshal has one official duty ; he swears 
in the grand jury. His other duties are to act as the 
judge's secretary, to see that everything in the judge's 
lodgings runs smoothly, and to suffer admonition 
gladly if anything goes wrong. At the end of the 
circuit Mathew said at least this in my favour 
that I was the only marshal he had ever had who 
could carve a chicken and open a soda-water bottle 
without injuring the carpets. 

J.s. 49 F 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

We went the Oxford Summer Circuit. Butt was 
our brother judge. It was a delightful and valuable 
experience. Mathew was an ideal judge in criminal 
cases, and I have never forgotten a maxim he was 
very fond of quoting and acting upon : " When the 
prisoner is undefended the judge must be his 
advocate." In altered terms, it is a counsel of per- 
fection for a County Court judge or any magisterial 
person who has the poor always before him. To 
see him double the part of prisoner's advocate and 
judge was to witness a masterpiece of subtle wit and 
honesty. There has been much discussion of late 
about the bias of judges. To my thinking a judge 
without bias would be a monstrosity. Mathew was 
an Irishman and a Liberal. But I never remember 
his bias interfering with a straight delivery ; unless, 
indeed, it was on the trial of an undefended Irish 
poacher at Oxford, There truly the Liberal 
disappeared in the judge, but I think the Irishman 
swerved a little from the true line. Anyhow, 
Mercy had her way, and the poacher was acquitted. 

There were many who regarded Mathew with 
something like terror, and for the life of me why one 
with so kindly a heart should have rejoiced on 
occasion in appearing as a man of wrath I cannot say. 
Perhaps it was that if he followed on all occasions 
his humane instincts he felt that discipline would 
not be maintained, and that he was really, as it 
were, taking gymnastic moral exercise in working 
himself into histrionic anger about nothing in par- 
ticular. There was generally a sense of humour 

50 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

in these displays which the sufferer was often too 
agitated to enjoy. I remember on one occasion an 
unfortunate sheriff had spelt and printed and 
published Mathew's name on the calendar with two 
t's. The judge sent for him and received him in the 
drawing-room of our lodgings in grave state. He 
explained to the High Sheriff, who stood quaking 
before him in a yeomanry uniform, that the offence 
he had committed might well be regarded not as 
petty treason, but as high treason, being in effect 
an insult through him as Judge of Assize to Her 
Majesty herself. He sent for Butt and solemnly 
discussed with him whether he was not in duty 
bound to fine the unlucky sheriff at least 500. Butt, 
who was never more delighted than when he could 
play his part in a jest, for some time seriously agreed 
with Mathew, and the two discussed whether im- 
prisonment was necessary as well. Then Butt began 
to think the fun had gone on long enough, and took 
the sheriff's side and begged his forgiveness. But 
Mathew, who was really vexed at slovenliness of this 
kind, dismissed the sheriff and adjourned his decision 
until the morning, "for," said he in Cromwellian 
phrase and intention, " the fellow must be taught 
his place." 

But on another and more amusing occasion he 
caused grave fright to Lister Drummond, my brother 
marshal. Drummond was an ardent Catholic 
a convert, I believe and of course Mathew be- 
longed to a very old Catholic family. I fear we 
marshals must have been somewhat of a trial 

51 E 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

to our respective judges, and every now and 
then Mathew would put his foot down. One 
morning we both arrived at breakfast rather later 
than usual. Mathew was reading the paper and 
eating his bacon alone, and looked at us in a very 
Johnsonian and surly manner, and only grunted 
a reply to our greetings. Breakfast proceeded in 
silence until the judge had finished, when he put 
down his paper and said : 

" Whose bedroom is next to mine ? " 

" I believe mine is, Judge," I said with hesitancy. 

" Hm ! Then who on earth was talking to you 
until two in the morning ? " 

" Well, you see/' I replied more cheerfully, seeing 
a mischievous retreat, " it was Drummond, but 
I'm sure you will approve of it when I tell you that 
he wants to convert me to the Holy Faith ! " 

" Does he ? " roared Mathew, banging his fist on 
the table and glaring at Drummond. " Then you 
may take it straight from me, Drummond, that if 
you continue to convert Parry in the small hours of 
the morning, I leave the Church." 

He swept out of the room, leaving Drummond as 
limp as the jackdaw of Rheims. 

Mathew had a considerable power of acting, and 
could have taken a hand with the best in the old 
sport of quizzing or " smoking " the victim, which is 
known to the moderns under the name of the game 
of spoof. I remember well when we were travelling 
to some cathedral town I was specifically ordered 
to get copies of a ribald and amusing local paper 

52 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

called the Bat, or the Porcupine, or the Jackdaw, or 
some such sarcastic beast or bird. This I did, and 
the two judges thoroughly enjoyed an open letter in 
it to my Lord Bishop of the diocese. The next 
evening the Lord Bishop dined with us in state, with 
other dignitaries of the city. When we retired to 
the drawing-room, there on the table, duly arranged 
with the Times, the Spectator, the Law Journal and 
other staid prints, were the blatant covers of the 
offending papers. They caught the Lord Bishop's 
eye. He frowned and looked gravely on the carpet. 
Mathew, with his ready observation, noticed the 
episcopal uneasiness. He stepped to the table in 
sudden anger. He seized the offending copies and 
turned to me with a look of grave sorrow, illuminated 
by a tactful quiver of the left eyelid. 

" Isn't this disgraceful ? I can't hinder you from 
wasting your money on such trash. But to bring 
them into the judges' rooms and leave them lying 

about here " He stepped to the fireplace and 

threw them into the fire with a sigh. " Surely, 
Parry surely you do not need to be told not to 
do such things." 

And once more the Bishop smiled a smile of 
righteousness and peace. 

It was only a few weeks' experience, but it stands 
out as one of the times when I learned something of 
the technic of advocacy. I was only a " walker on " 
to the stage of the Court, it is true, but I was on all 
the time, and could take note of the courses of the 
stars. Henry Matthews, Q.C., and Jelf, Q.C., were 

53 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

doing constant battle in the Civil Court, and Darling 
was defending poachers and other offenders on the 
Crown side. There was plenty of good example for 
the apprentice to study. And in between whiles 
we rowed our judges down the Wye to Chepstow and 
nearly spilled them in the river, and journeyed to 
Edgbaston to kiss Cardinal Newman's ring, and 
visited under the pleasantest circumstances the old 
houses and castles and cathedrals of the Midlands ; 
as if all the world were playing holidays when you 
went the Oxford Circuit in summer. 

At the end of 1884 I was married, and in January, 
1885, I was called to the Bar. I determined to go 
my father's old circuit, the South-East ern, and went 
down to Cambridge and Norwich and Maidstone to 
look round, but came to the conclusion that there 
was woefully little to do and plenty of able men to do 
it. I took a room in Middle Temple Lane in the old 
wooden building on the left as you turn out of Fleet 
Street. My name was painted on the door, but I 
doubt if anyone read it but myself. I wrote some 
stories for the Cornhill, started a law book that was 
never finished, and began editing Dorothy Osborne's 
letters. As the Bar did not require my services, and 
I thought the country did, I made many excursions 
for the Eighty Club. 

I spoke several times for an old friend of mine, 
Tom Threlfall, head of the Salford Brewery, who had 
come out as a Liberal against the Hon. Edward 
Stanhope in the Horncastle Division of Lincolnshire. 
The agricultural labourer was coming into his own, 

54 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

and the clergy often refused us the use of the schools, 
so we spoke from a wagon in a field. We had a knot 
of independent farmers who supported the cause, and 
we all drove together in a big brake to the place of 
meeting. I shall never forget a serious faux pas of 
ThrelfalTs. We were passing between two fields 
heavily manured with the favourite Lincolnshire 
dressing, and all the farmers sniffed it up with smiling 
approval. It was too much for Threlfall, and he 
buried his face in. an elegant cambric handkerchief. 
One of the farmers frowned slightly, and, by way of 
encouraging explanation, said : " Eh, man 1 Pig 
moock ! Fine 1 " 

The farmers were sorely puzzled at his want of 
appreciation, and I could not help feeling that 
Threlfall was not really cut out for a Lincolnshire 
member. Unfortunately, the voters thought so, too ; 
but he made an excellent fight. 

At the end of the year, at an old boys' dinner at 
King's College after the election Sir Richard 
Webster, as he then was, proposed my health as 
president of the debating society, and chaffed me for 
belonging to the wrong camp ; but I was able to point 
out that I had done good work for both parties, for I 
bad spoken for fifteen Radical candidates and not one 
of them had been returned. 

The fact was that at that date the followers of 
Chamberlain and his " unauthorised programme/' 
as it was called, were under the grave disadvantage 
of working against the ill-concealed hostility of the 
moderate Liberals. 

55 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

I expect when the history of the time is known 
it will be found that when Gladstone nominated 
Rosebery as his successor instead of Chamberlain he 
naturally destined his party to their long sojourn in 
the wilderness. Certainly in 1885 Chamberlain was 
as great a name to conjure with as it is to-day. I 
was present at Bristol at the Liberal Colston dinner 
just before the autumn election, and shall never 
forget the enormous enthusiasm with which his name 
was received. 

With the exception of Gladstone, I have never 
heard a speaker who could play upon any given 
audience as a musician upon a great organ, pulling 
out first this stop and then another, and winding up 
with some diapason of eloquence, some grand 
swelling burst of harmony, that made speaker and 
audience, player and organ, one vast instrument of 
triumph. 

The most wonderful instance of his magnetic 
influence and power that I ever witnessed was when 
he dined with the Eighty Club on April 28, 1885. 
It was an open secret that the majority of the club 
did not want him to be invited, but a Cabinet 
Minister could not be passed over. The audience 
was apathetic. They laughed awkwardly when he 
introduced himself as one " who certainly has never 
worshipped with Whigs in the Temple of Brooks's." 
He seemed to get no echo from his audience and 
became uneasy. He was speaking from notes piled 
up on a heap of oranges in a high dessert dish. 
Suddenly I saw him drop a page back on to the 

56 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

heap he left his notes and his voice rang out 
amongst us in a graphic picture of a Birmingham 
slum and the children crying for milk, and the 
shameful contrast of the well-fed, sleek mob in front 
of him. Melodrama, perhaps, but rattling good 
melodrama. It made Radicals for the moment of 
every Whig in the room, and when he returned to his 
notes and quoted from the " Corn Law Rhymer/' in 
tones of triumphant fervour : 

They taxed your corn, they fettered trade ; 
The clouds to blood, the sun to shade; 
And every good that God had made 

They turned to bane and mockery 

cheers echoed and re-echoed, and there was not an 
ounce of Whig left in his audience. 

Alas ! the whirligig of Time brings in his revenges. 
In a few years Chamberlain had an entirely new set 
of politics, and I had none whatever. 

Eighty-six dawned, but the sun did not shine very 
brightly in Middle Temple Lane. I had one or two 
briefs, certainly, but there seemed no outlook. The 
South-Eastern Circuit was a far too expensive 
amusement for my pocket, and, now that the election 
was over, there seemed nothing to do but to write 
stories that ungrateful editors did not want and to 
sit in chambers waiting for unintelligent solicitors 
who never came. 

It was one winter afternoon. My boy was out 
at lunch. I was sitting in that upper chamber in 
Middle Temple Lane wondering if there would be 

57 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

more room for my interesting personality in Australia 
than there seemed to be in the old country when I 
heard an eager, heavy footstep on the last flight. 
Footsteps generally stopped at the top of the flight 
before, where an eminent Old Bailey junior held out. 
These footsteps came upward and along ; they were 
unknown and substantial. Evidently those of a 
solicitor of weight. I felt that something important 
was going to happen. 

There was no knock at the door, and in a moment 
who should fling himself into the room but Dick 
Smith. 

" Not a bit of good living up all these stairs ; you 
should begin on the ground floor. Time enough to 
come up here when you are all the fashion and the 
solicitors must come after you." 

" What are you doing in town ? " I asked. 

" M'Lachlan v. Agnew and Others. Rolls Court, 
before Anderson, Official Referee. Pankhurst leads 
me, but he has gone back to Manchester. Shiress 
Will, Q.C., and Lewis Coward against us. What 
are you doing ? " 

" Nothing whatever/' I answered somewhat 
dismally. 

" Come along and take a note for me this after- 



noon." 



I had been feeling like a gambler eternally cut 
out of the table, and here was a hand in some sort 
of game dealt for me to pick up. I caught hold of 
my blue bag, and putting a note on my door with 
some pride to say I was to be found at the Official 

58 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

Referee's Chambers in Rolls Court, followed Dick 
Smith up Chancery Lane. 

There is a geographical secret about Chancery 
Lane that I have discovered. It leads straight to 
Manchester. 

M'Lachlan v. Agnew and Others should never 
have happened at all. It came about mainly because 
Lachlan M'Lachlan was a Scotsman and a photo- 
grapher, and knew that he knew everything about 
art in which he mistakenly included photography 
whilst the defendants, Sir William Agnew, Sir Joseph 
Heron, and Mr. Alderman King, knew that they 
knew better than M'Lachlan. 

Each set out to prove his thesis to Mr. Anderson, 
Q.C., in his dingy chambers in Rolls Court. Neither 
succeeded, but perhaps Anderson learned something 
about art and the parties something about law. 

Lachlan M'Lachlan's pet idea was that a camera 
not only could not lie, but that it could tell the truth, 
and even interpret new or historic truths pictorially, 
He conceived the loyal and patriotic idea of a great 
picture, to be entitled " The Royal Family," which was 
to depict a group consisting of every member of the 
Royal Family surrounding our Gracious Sovereign 
Queen Victoria in one of the rooms at Windsor. 
Each individual was to be separately photographed, 
the room and its furniture were to be photographed 
in detail, and then the photographs were to be 
enlarged, cut out, and pasted on a huge canvas, from 
which was to be painted a picture of great size. 
When this was done the camera again came into play. 

59 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Negatives of various sizes were to be taken, and the 
ultimate prints sold to the public. 

I have very little doubt there was some artistic 
value in the original design of the group, for that was 
the work of that sincere artist Frederic Shields, and 
his sketch group, which was prepared in 1871, won 
the approval of her Majesty the Queen, who not only 
gave M'Lachlan several sittings herself, but issued 
her mandate to the various members of the Royal 
Family that they were to be photographed in such 
dresses, uniforms, and attitudes as Lachlan M'Lach- 
lan desired. The various adventures of M' Lachlan in 
pursuit of his Royal victims would fill a volume. 
This part of the work took some two or three years, 
and the great scheme nearly failed because a 
Princess who had in the meanwhile grown out of 
short skirts refused to put them on again to satisfy 
M'Lachlan's passion for historical accuracy. This 
matter was so M' Lachlan used to tell us referred 
to her Majesty and decided in his favour. 

In 1874 the first photographs were completed, 
but the plaintiff had exhausted his means in work- 
ing on his great project, which required new capital 
before it could be finished. There is, I think, no 
doubt that the defendants were actuated in the 
first instance by the kindest motives, and through 
their influence about twenty guarantors found 100 
apiece in order that the wonderful historical picture 
might be made. 

M'Lachlan had the faith and enthusiasm of a 
patentee. No expense could be too great, no time 

60 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

too long to assure the perfection of his work. The 
defendants, on the other hand, regarded themselves 
as the kindly patron of the poor artist, ready to lend 
him some money, but eager to see it return again 
with that huge additional interest that is the modern 
Maecenas's expectation when he deigns to encourage 
literature or art. Such a combination could but end 
in one place the law courts, though it took many 
years to reach its natural destination. 

I think it was nearly 1877 before the great canvas 
picture was produced. It measured 17 ft. by 
10 ft. 6 in., and was insured by the defendants for 
10,000. Even when the picture was finished there 
were long delays in producing the negatives of dif- 
ferent sizes. More money was wanted, and deeds and 
agreements were drawn up, unauthorised prints 
were condemned by M'Lachlan and issued by the 
defendants, and meanwhile the portraits were 
becoming more and more historical, and a 
picture that might have had some popularity in 
1871 had little chance of success some ten years 
later. 

It was in March of 1885 that the case was opened 
at Manchester Assizes. Dr. Pankhurst was for the 
plaintiff. No one on the circuit could have trumpeted 
forth the wrongs of M'Lachlan with more eloquent 
indignation, and few juniors could have enveloped 
the court in a foggier atmosphere of financial 
complications. In tones of emotion and excitement 
the learned doctor's voice would soar into a falsetto 
of denunciation of his opponents' chicanery, winding 

61 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

up in a cry to heaven or whatever Pankhurst put 
in its place that their villainy might be punished. 
It was not, indeed, wholly without justification that 
some wild circuit rhymer wrote in Falkner Blair's 
" Lament on Going to India " : 

When I hear in the midst of the jungle O 

The shriek of the wild cockatoo, 
I shall jump out of bed in my bungalow 

And imagine, dear Pankhurst, it's you. 

It is, of course, easy enough to make fun of a great 
man's mannerisms, but Dr. Pankhurst, as a witty 
conversationalist, an eloquent speaker who could 
keep his subject well before a mixed audience on a 
high plane of thought, and a man of earnest con- 
victions in moral and political affairs, was honestly 
admired by all who had the pleasure of his friend- 
ship. But it must be admitted that at the Bar 
he was not at his best. He could not readily sink 
to the mundane problems by solving which so many 
disputes are decided. I remember on a Local 
Government Board inquiry, presided over by Colonel 
Ducat, the engineer of the Board, I appeared for 
one district and Pankhurst for another. We were 
opposing inclusion into a larger district. Pank- 
hurst, as senior, started the harangues by throwing 
up his arms and shouting out on a top note, " I am 
here to justify the opposition of the down-trodden 
minority of the Stand District. I say I am here to 
justify the opposition of the down-trodden minority 
of the Stand District." 

And justify it he did in passages of great eloquence, 
62 



CALLED TO THE BAR 

close reasoning, asid apposite quotation from history 
and literature, which were a pleasure and privilege to 
listen to. When it was all over, and his adherents' 
applause had died away, Colonel Ducat looked 
up from his notes and said : "I've listened very 
carefully, Dr. Pankhurst, but I'm not clear even 
now whether you are in favour of the 12-inch drains 
or the 9-inch drains." 

I should like to have heard Pankhurst open 
M'Lachlan's case. Mr. Justice Hawkins listened to 
it for three days. At the end of that time figures 
were mentioned, and Hawkins got frightened, and 
promptly referred the matter. What a waste of 
time and money to have started it at all. It was a 
year afterwards, in the middle of the reference, that 
I found the case rolling heavily along, a mass of 
negatives and photography and correspondence 
and confusion. Pankhurst was unable to continue 
in the case, and they gave me a junior brief to 
Richard Smith. I never really understood what the 
quarrel was all about, but I do not think anyone 
else did, unless it was Smith, who made an excellent 
reply for the plaintiff. 

I only remember one smile during the many 
weary hours we spent in those dingy chambers 
in Rolls Court. Sir William Agnew was being 
examined. He was always somewhat pompous 
and well-to-do in his manner, and Smith did his 
best to annoy him. A question arose as to the 
authenticity of a letter written by the plaintiff 
on Agnew's Bond Street letter paper. 

63 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

" I suppose/' said Smith, " if any customer in 
your shop I beg your pardon, emporium were to 
ask one of your servants for a sheet of notepaper, 
he would give him one ? " 

" I hope not, sir," said Sir William, with expansive 
dignity, " I hope he would hand him two or three." 

Old Anderson looked at Sir William in Scot's 
surprise, and said in his broadest accent, " Do you 
really mean that, now ? " 

I do not think I ever saw the ultimate written 
judgment of the Official Referee. I believe both 
sides appealed from it, and no appeal was ever 
heard. It was, from the point of view of English 
litigation, one of our failures. There ought to be a 
compulsory conciliation court for troubles of this 
nature, at least to sift out what the quarrel and 
dispute really is. But I look back to the case with 
pleasure. I don't think the result left M'Lachlan 
worse than it found him, and it certainly did me a 
good turn. During those days I heard from Smith of 
the wonderful possibilities of the Bar in Manchester, 
and I made up my mind I would at least join the 
Northern Circuit. This I did without delay, and 
before the summer I had taken a little house in 
Heaton Road, Withington, and turned my back 
on London for ever. 

Just to show what a lot I knew about Manchester, 
I moved down in Whit-week or tried to. For 
Manchester has an excellent and sacred custom in 
Whit-week. Nobody does any work. 



CHAPTER V 

EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

I see the huge warehouses of Manchester, the many-storied 
mills, the great bale-laden drays, the magnificent horses. 

"Towards Democracy." 

AND by moving down to Manchester in Whit-week 
I found myself indeed plunged into a new world. 
For Whit-week, as I said, is a universal holiday 
among all sorts and conditions of people, and every 
man, woman and child has his or her share in the 
feast. For the shops close, the workman goes to 
Blackpool or the Isle of Man, and the employer to 
Paris or the West Highlands, or St. Andrews, or 
North Berwick as the mood suggests, and Lancashire 
and Yorkshire play cricket at Old Trafford and the 
races are run, and the children dressed in white, 
carrying their banners, move in procession through 
streets thronged with admiring parents. And that 
all may be at peace and goodwill the Protestant 
children " walk " that is the Manchester word 
on one day and the Roman Catholics on another, for 
fear the good Christian parents of either denomina- 
tion should batter each other's skulls whilst their 
little children are singing " Lead Kindly Light." 
And if you want to see one of the prettiest sights 

J.s. 65 F 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

in the land, go and see the children " walking," the 
little Catholics for choice, because their frocks are 
daintier and their banners more picturesque, and 
their parents in the crowd, among whom you should 
stand, are more Irish, enthusiastic and full of 
epigram. But by no means go to Manchester in 
Whit-week if you want to buy or sell. And if you 
have to move into a new house it is obviously not 
the right season to make the attempt, for at this 
season no money or entreaty will save your vans 
from being held up, and you may make up your 
mind to lay your carpets yourself. When you 
become a citizen of Manchester you recognise the 
sanity of the Whit-week festival. It comes at a time 
when days are long, weather favourable, the despair 
of winter behind you and the joy of summer at your 
feet. Some day all England will acquire the Whit- 
week habit, and it will cease to be the special luxury 
of Manchester. 

As there was no possibility of work or any kind 
of progress in domestic affairs, I had ample leisure 
to survey the city and study its geography. My 
earliest impressions were not prepossessing. The 
town of Manchester seemed to consist of one 
long street Market Street which was far too 
small for the trams and lurries and men and women 
who wanted to use it. All the other streets seemed 
half empty, and this one was overcrowded. The 
costumes of the inhabitants struck me as grotesque. 
Men's gloves were only to be seen in the shop 
windows, and I wondered why they were there at 

66 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

all, but discovered afterwards that the devout 
carried them to church or chapel on Sundays. Top 
hats were worn, certainly, but generally with light 
tweed suits. Frock coats were surmounted by 
boating straws, and I remember the shock experi- 
enced by my Cockney mind when I met a native 
clothed in correct black coat and silk hat in Albert 
Square ruining his chances in life, as I thought, by 
the added blasphemy of a short pipe. It must not 
be thought that I sighed deeply for the Babylonish 
garments of the Temple, for I soon learned that in 
Manchester, of all places, you might 

Gi'e fools their silks, and knaves their wine, 
A man's a man for a' that. 

And, for myself, I cared for none of these things, 
and no doubt Charley McKeand whose outspoken 
comments on men and manners were the joy of the 
circuit was fully within the truth when he insisted, 
as he always did, that I was the worst-dressed man 
on the circuit. 

But truth compels me to say that my memory of 
the first aspect of Manchester was a scene of hustle, 
roughness, and uncouthness rather depressing to a 
stranger in a strange land not to the manner born. 
I discovered before long the kindness of heart and 
the real sense of independence that underlies and is 
the origin of the Manchester manner, but I still 
think that there are many natives who mistake 
incivility for independence, thereby lowering their 
fellow-citizens in the esteem of mankind. 

67 F 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

I could quote many instances of what I mean, 
but one will suffice. An eminent Withington 
butcher, having delivered meat of exceptional tough- 
ness, my wife remonstrated with him about it, 
when he blurted out, " Nay, missis, it's not my 
meat if anything's wrong, more laikely it's your 
teeth." 

It is this kind of greeting that puzzles the softer 
races of the South. 

And if there was one thing more than another 
that impressed me as having the real spirit of 
Manchester abiding within it, it was the lurry. I 
use the word lurry with the true Manchester spelling 
as though it were an English and not merely a 
Manchester word. The lurry is symbolic of the city 
and the dwellers within its walls. The lurry incar- 
nate in wood and iron is a cart or wagon, what you 
will, a four-wheeled, oblong, flat tray, cumbersome 
yet capable of bearing great burdens. There is a 
stern largeness about its aspect, a straightness about 
its course it is never at its ease in turning corners 
which always suggests to me an ancient Roman 
origin, though there is a noble catholicity about it 
which is quite the reverse of Roman, for it will carry 
anything for money. I have seen a two-horse lurry 
marching slowly down Market Street bearing only 
a solitary blue band-box. But its chief and usual 
burden is a load of bales of cotton cloth. From the 
upper windows of narrow streets heavy pieces of 
cloth are flung accurately and rapidly on to the 
lurry waiting below, and the driver, moving within 

68 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

an ace of destruction on the floor of the lurry, stacks 
them solidly together until the load is complete. 
Then when the sun shines as it has been known to 
on occasions even in Portland Street the lurry, 
with its two magnificent horses, strolls proudly away 
to station or steamer, no tarpaulin covering its 
snowy burden the harvest of Lancashire and 
when your stranger's eyes follow it with admiration, 
you begin to learn something of the spirit and 
character of the city whose symbol it is. For the 
lurry is a carrier of goods from man to man, a four- 
wheeled middleman, moving in a straight, dogged, 
obstinate course, shoving lighter affairs aside, dis- 
puting its right to all the street even with its own 
municipality and their trams, caring little who goes 
down beneath its hoofs and wheels so long as the 
cotton bales and pieces arrive and are sent forth, 
and that the loads are pressed down and shaken 
together and running over, and that business is 
good. 

And the lurry horses, like the Sunday School 
children, have their feast day also, which is the 
first of May, when, bedecked with ribbons and 
caparisoned in gleaming harness, they parade the 
streets. Who that has seen them will ever forget 
the splendid teams of Robert Clay, the bleacher, as 
they swing round into Albert Square on a sunny 
first of May and gladden the hearts of Manchester 
man, woman and child, with a vision of strength and 
wealth and beauty and business ? 

For the first idea of Manchester is business, and the 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

second idea of Manchester is business, and the seventy 
times seventh idea of Manchester is business, and the 
outward and visible sign of the Manchester idea is a 
lurry laden with cotton cloth. And had I had a 
hand in the emblazoning of a coat of arms, instead 
of a beehive whose denizens are, after all, but a dull 
set of socialist fellows, fond of rural pursuits and 
little embued with the Manchester ideals I would 
have set aside that terrestrial globe semee of bees volant 
on a wreath of the colours, and instituted a lurry 
not rampant or courant, but passant day and night 
constantly and eternally passant, until the last 
Manchester contract is fulfilled and the last load of 
cotton goods is delivered. 

I do not say I learned all this about Manchester in 
one Whit-week. On the contrary, it took me a 
quarter of a century to find out what little I have 
learned, and even now I recognise that I am only 
outside the veil of a great mystery. For the heart 
and life and being of Manchester and its surroundings 
is a human study worthy of a sane and honest 
philosopher, if such a one exist, and I am only 
attempting to set down a few traveller's notes, as it 
were. 

Now, at first, no Courts were sitting, and I sat in 
my chambers, which were up two flights of stairs in 
41, John Dalton Street where I remained even in 
the days of my prosperity and there I settled to 
work on my edition of Dorothy Osborne's letters, 
and only heard the blurred rattle of the lurries over 
the stone setts through the double windows which 

70 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

all Manchester offices must have to preserve the 
sense of hearing of their inmates. 

And though I think it is a good thing for the 
fledgling barrister to write a book of some sort, so 
that he may have an occupation to keep him in his 
chambers, and be there ready to greet that first great 
cause which is going to bring him fame or fortune, 
yet he should never miss a meet of the profession at 
sessions or assizes, even though he is well aware he is 
merely going to sit at the receipt of a custom that is 
not there. 

The Manchester Assize Courts, where most of our 
local courts were held, are very handsome and con- 
venient buildings. Any other city but Manchester 
would have approached them through something 
better than a slum. But there is not a single entrance 
into Manchester that can be described as either 
comely or decent. The individual public buildings 
of Manchester are, many of them, of exceptional 
beauty. How fine the Town Hall would look if it 
were washed ! The streets of Manchester are by no 
means badly cleansed. Why should Manchester 
wash her feet and not wash her face ? Why should 
Manchester fail to appreciate what other cities of 
Europe seem to understand, that you do not only 
want fine buildings, but worthy roads and streets to 
see them as you approach ? It is the approach shot 
that Manchester has to learn in architecture. 

I shall never forget my first walk down Strange- 
ways towards the Courts, and the despair that en- 
tered into my soul as I thought of the Embankment 

7* 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

and my beloved Temple, with its pure fountain 
and its memories of Tom Pinch and Ruth. How 
dismally I compared these with the filthy, black, 
oily river, the grimy cathedral, the ancient four- 
wheeled cabs, and their miserable horses bending 
their knees and drooping their heads as if in worship 
of the graven image of Oliver Cromwell, and then a 
plunge underneath clanging railway bridges and 
along a mean Yiddish street, to encounter a glad 
surprise when the glorious vista of the Law Courts 
swam into my ken. As a practical joke upon the 
stranger within your gates excellent ! As a piece 
of municipal town planning rotten ! 

But if I seem to dwell too much on the deficiencies 
of Manchester as a great city, it is only because I am 
trying to recall as honestly as I can the first im- 
pression it made upon my little Cockney mind, for 
to-day when I return to its flags and setts I pace 
them with as much of the pride of a real citizen 
as my modesty will allow. And though the outward 
aspect of the streets was somewhat forbidding, the 
kind-heartedness of the inhabitants was soon made 
manifest. It was a wild venture I had made, but 
I had one introduction that I presented without 
delay, and that was addressed to Mr. C. P. Scott, 
of the Manchester Guardian. Of all Manchester 
people Mr. and Mrs. Scott had the true Manchester 
instinct of hospitality. It did not matter that the 
people introduced were young, unimportant and of 
no account, that made it the more necessary to 
entertain them and introduce them to others. It was 

7 2 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

not many weeks therefore before dining at Mr. Scott's 
we met his chief assistant editor, W. T. Arnold. 

The world knows Arnold as a writer and historian. 
I can only speak of him as a kind friend and my 
master in journalism. That I should ever have com- 
menced journalism at all in Manchester rested in 
the main on one of those accidental foundations 
upon which the world seems mainly to be built. 

At that first dinner-party at Mr. Scott's house my 
wife went in with Mr. Arnold. I can remember the 
occasion well because the whole idea of the gathering 
was so new to me. For instance, in London if you 
dined with a judge there were leaders of the Bar, 
a dull stranger and two old solicitors who had 
briefed the judge in earlier days. If you dined with 
an artist there were patrons, and if possible a critic. 
If you dined with a professor, it was all professors, 
if with a doctor, all doctors. But here were barristers, 
journalists, specialist doctors, members of Parlia- 
ment and merchants all round one table, and the talk 
never degenerated into any one special " shop." 
Manchester is exactly the right size for a dinner- 
party, and there are enough of all sorts and conditions 
of workers in it to bring together a really interesting 
company. Moreover Manchester knows how to 
entertain. It happened, then, that my wife began 
to talk to Mr. Arnold about the Seine. We had had 
a very interesting trip up the river that summer 
with an artist friend, taking over a half-outrigged 
boat from Oxford, starting from Caudebec and 
rowing up to Paris, camping out en route. Arnold 

73 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

was enthusiastic about France and all things 
French. Moreover he knew Les Andelys and Chateau 
Gaillard and Pont de 1'Arche. I think my wife 
claimed that we were the first English folk to row up 
the Seine, except, of course, Molloy and his four on 
French rivers for had we not camped on the 
He St. Georges below Rouen where they were 
wrecked, and learned all about their adventures from 
Madame, the grandmother of the farm. 

But Arnold was sure that he had read something 
recently about it he remembered he had cut it out 
it was in the Pall Mall. 

" That was our trip/' replied my wife. 

Arnold bunched up his black eyebrows and had 
a good look at me across the table. After dinner 
he said in that off-hand, desultory way that hindered 
him getting to the hearts of some Manchester men 
Oxford has its drawbacks, after all 

" Do you care to write for the Manchester 
Guardian occasionally ? " 

Did I care to write ? What a question to ask a 
young man with a wife and daughter and rent and 
taxes and no hope of an old age pension. 

The bargain was struck, and the next week I 
commenced dramatic critic. Arnold approved, and 
I remained. 

I never caught the Manchester Guardian manner, 
and I know I was too enthusiastic and unacademic, 
but I wrote on all sorts of subjects, and shall always 
remember the kindness of Arnold, who was my 
immediate chief, and all the staff, from the highest 

74 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

to the lowest. Generally Arnold's blue pencil was 
rightly wielded, but now and again, of course, 
enthusiasm scored. 

I remember among a lot of books to review I had 
singled out the " Auld Licht Idylls," by J. M. 
Barrie. I am glad to say for my reputation as a 
reviewer that it captured me and I enthused. I 
came into Arnold's room in the office after the 
theatre. I can see him now, sitting wearily in the 
midst of proofs and papers. He looked up at me as 
I entered with an amused smile he regarded me, 
I think, as an irrepressible, journalistic infant. 

" That Scots' book, you know," he said, pulling out 
a proof " Walter Scott and Bret Harte and Mark 
Twain rolled into one. Really, Parry, when will 
you grow up ? " 

I defended my point of view earnestly, and after 
listening a while he shrugged his shoulders, saying, 
" Good night ; it's not badly written except for the 
adjectives. I'll see to it." He did see to it with 
the blue pencil. For Arnold did not believe with 
the moderns in discovering a new literary genius 
once a week and canonizing him on the spot. He 
was a high priest of letters, and his literary saints 
had to be thoroughly tested in the pure fires of his 
critical insight before they were consecrated. But 
months afterwards he was just enough to say as I 
brought him in a theatre notice, " By the way, 
Parry, that Scots' book. I've read it. We might 
have left in all that about Mark Twain and Bret 
Harte and even Scott. But mind you don't do 

75 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

it again ; you won't find another Barrie in a 
hurry." 

I have not ; nor indeed have I found another 
Arnold, so patient, cynical, learned and full of 
kindliness to those who worked under him. He 
was indeed a great loss to Manchester and the 
English Press. He too was, like myself, a stranger 
within the gates. He came to Manchester in 
1879 fr m Oxford, where I think he had been a 
coach, and he had certainly brought from Oxford the 
best she has to give. For nearly twenty years he 
was a hard-working journalist, but he never lost his 
love of scholarship, and he was a scholar without 
pedantry. In his old-world house in Nelson Street, 
the site of which is now, I think, covered by the 
Infirmary buildings, he loved to greet newcomers 
and cheer them on their path with good-humoured, 
sane and helpful thoughts. He knew the best of 
Manchester, for he, too, loved to explore on foot or 
a- wheel the moors and lanes and woodlands which lie 
within such tempting adjacence to the city. " I see 
him," writes one who knew him best, " alert and 
vigorous, his broad shoulders somewhat over- 
weighted by the strong intellectual head, his dark 
eyes full of fun and affection." The picture is by 
a great artist, and it cannot be bettered. 

The stage lost a real friend in Arnold. His 
criticisms were not the fretful, carping essays of the 
moderns. He had the capacity to do common-place 
work earnestly, and gave of his best to the task of 
every day. Moreover, he loved good acting, and knew 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

it when he saw it, and was catholic in his tastes. 
Like all men, he had his mannerisms. As he said of 
himself, "It is the pedagogue in me which needs 
subduing," and in the main he kept it under. Yet 
I think I could trace his unsigned writings in the 
Press by his love of a French phrase. The French 
were always with him, and in season and occasionally 
out of season, like the great Mr. Wegg, he dropped 
into French. Some of these adjectives were well 
chosen. Thus Irving's humour in the grave-digger's 
scene was macabre ; Pinero understood the use of 
the mot de la situation ; and the English opinion of 
the French classical writers was sangrenu I have 
but a hazy notion of the meaning of the word, still it 
sounds satisfying. These words are expressive, but 
on occasion he would, to show he was a mortal 
journalist, descend to declasse and tour de force like 
the lower infusoria of the reporter's room. 

I remember in his French enthusiasm he gave me 
to read a criticism in a French paper by Sarcey, I 
fancy. " Why cannot we do work like that. ? Why 
can't that be done in England ? " he asked. 

" I think it might be," I replied. " Indeed, under 
proper conditions, I think I could do it myself. All 
I should want are the same conditions as the French 
fellow half the first sheet of the Manchester 
Guardian once a week to print my criticisms on, and, 
of course, Sarcey's salary, and my name at the 
bottom of the page." 

The ribaldry of demanding half the first page of 
the Guardian for anything but advertisements was 

77 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

too much for Arnold, and the gathering rebuke of 
flippancy dissolved in laughter. 

Arnold was disabled at forty-four and died in 
1904, at the age of fifty-two. Bravely and unsel- 
fishly he bore his weary years of sickness, using every 
available hour for scholarship and study. I last saw 
him in Manchester some time before his death. He 
was then very weak and ill and in great pain ; but 
I remember this of it at least with pleasure, that when 
I came to say farewell at his bedside the word he 
whispered, at which I proudly caught, was " friend." 

And it was through the kindness of Mrs. Scott, 
too, that Miss Gaskell and her sister became aware 
of our existence and collected us into their fold, so 
that whenever some actor or doctor or artist or 
musician or writer or thinker came to Manchester 
there was an invitation to meet him or her at their 
historic house in Plymouth Grove. It is hard to say 
whether these pleasant dinner-parties were more 
refreshing to the body or the soul. One reads of the 
Parisian salons of the reign of Louis XV., but one 
cannot believe that the privilege of attending 
Madame Geoffrin or Madame Necker could be com- 
pared to the honour of an invitation to Plymouth 
Grove. Art, literature, music, and drama were 
impersonated by the greatest artists, though they 
were not there as lions to gaze at, but rather as 
friends of the home. The hospitality and elegance 
of the entertainment would have been a happy 
memory for Lord Guloseton himself, and as he came 
away he would have sheathed his silver weapons 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

with content. Though these were things other 
houses could give you, the real treasure casketed 
in the shrine of Plymouth Grove was the homely 
welcome which great and small received from the 
high priestesses. It was a salon of Louis XV. 
conceived in the spirit of Cranford. 

And if, as we are promised, there are to be many 
mansions in the realms above, I trust it is not 
impious to hope that one will be situated in some 
Elysian Plymouth Grove, exact in every detail to 
the dear original. For it must have the same semi- 
circular drive approaching its old-fashioned portico, 
and the steps must be a trifle steep by which you 
reach the shuttered door, and I must be permitted to 
be young again, unknown and obscure, and to drive 
up in a heavenly hired four-wheeled cab, so that when 
the door is opened by some neat angel maid-servant 
I may feel fully again the honour that is done me. 
Everything must be in its place in the beloved 
drawing-room, for each book and picture, and piece 
of furniture had its own welcome for you, and though, 
of course, I should like to meet the shade of Charlotte 
Bronte as well as some of those noted men and 
women who were visitors in my day, yet all I shall 
really wish for is the Manchester welcome the good 
ladies gave me twenty-five years ago. For if 
heaven is to be a success, there must be kind hostesses 
to welcome shy, awkward, unknown, youthful 
persons like myself, and make us at ease and at home 
in the presence of the great ones. And though I 
write this as a nonsense dream, I do it because I find 

79 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

it easier to express truth in that form. And it is 
certainly true that the good ladies of Plymouth 
Grove made Manchester for me and mine as they did 
for so many toilers of all degrees, a holier and better 
place. 

Falkner Blair was another kind friend who dis- 
covered me when I first went to Manchester, and 
helped by his kindly greeting to make its skies blue 
for me and its sun to shine on me, He was the leader 
among those juniors who practised mainly in the 
Crown Court, and was afterwards a judge in India. 
He and Arnold were good friends, though they had 
little but Oxford in common Oxford has its 
advantages and Blair called Arnold " the Don " 
and Arnold nicknamed Blair " the Agreeable 
Rattle." 

For I remember feeling very lonely wandering 
about the Courts in those early days, when Falkner 
Blair came up to me and said, " Is your name Parry ? 
Well, come up and take the dogs for a walk and have 
some dinner." It appeared I had met some relations 
of his, but any pretext was good enough for Blair to 
open his house to a newcomer and see what he was 
like, and he was a real friend to his juniors. 

Blair was a great character. He was a fine cross- 
examiner, an eloquent speaker, and a better lawyer 
than many supposed, but he was undoubtedly 
indolent. Full of fads and enthusiasm, he was an 
excellent talker, the remains of a classical billiard 
player, a most redoubtable gourmet, and a great 
lover of dogs. The three collies of those days, 

80 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

Bruce, Vixen, and Luath, were well known in 
the neighbourhood and greatly admired by the 
" doggy." 

Blair had a ready wit. I remember him escorting 
some ladies round the law courts during the luncheon 
hour when they came across the antique spears of 
the javelin men piled in a corner of the corridor out- 
side the judges' room. " Whatever are those used 
f or ? " asked a lady, gazing at them admiringly. 

" Those, my dear madam/' said Blair with prompt 
decision, " are used by the Judge in the Crown Court 
when he charges the grand jury." 

The ladies looked at them with reverent awe and 
shuddered. 

Just as I was beginning to do a little work 
I was invalided, and the doctor wanted me to go to 
the Riviera in January. As I could afford neither 
time nor money for this I decided on Barmouth. I 
was very depressed about having to go away, and, 
meeting Blair, told him my trouble. He was over- 
joyed. There was nothing doing, and he and Mrs. 
Blair and the dogs would join us. He would go 
ahead and get rooms with his friend Mrs. Davis, at 
the Cors-y-gedol. I wonder how many remember 
that fine portrait of the dear old lady that her 
son-in-law, Phil Morris, R.A., painted. 

Blair in an hotel became a kind of proprietor of 
it and chief guest rolled into one. The first night 
we were nearly all awakened by a horrible noise of 
clashing bells. It ought to have been a fire, but 
nothing had happened, we were told. What really 

J.S. 8l G 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

occurred Blair explained at breakfast without a 
notion that there was any reason for apology or 
regret. 

"I sat up till about half -past twelve, and 
went up to bed and said, ' Where's Vixen ? ' " 
the beloved dogs always slept with him. " There 
was no Vixen. I went downstairs and looked 
everywhere, and then heard poor Vixen whining 
outside the front door. I tried to undo the chains 
and things, but couldn't manage it, and couldn't 
find a soul about, and there was the poor dog 
whining outside. Luckily " what an adverb to 
choose " luckily I found a broom lying about, so 
I just swept the row of bells in the passage backwards 
and forwards until quite a lot of people came, and 
we let the poor dog in." 

The late Bishop of St. Asaph, who had come for 
the rest cure, left the next morning, but Mrs. 
Davis only laughed. If Blair was in an hotel it 
mattered not who came or went. 

Blair was full of hygienic fads, and one of them 
was a very huge sponge, which was placed on the 
window-sill of his second floor bedroom, and much 
admired by passers-by in the street. Blair would 
discourse at length on the properties of the sponge, 
and how it soaked in ozone all day and gave it forth 
in the morning tub. One afternoon we were stand- 
ing at our sitting-room window, which was directly 
beneath his bedroom, and Blair called our attention 
to two little dogs having a tug-of-war in the street 
with what looked like a long rope. Blair cheered 

82 



EARLY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER 

on the smaller dog, leaning out of the window and 
shouting, " Go it, little 'un ! Two to one on the 
black one. Stick to it ! Stick at it ! Hurrah ! 
No ! What ! Good heavens ! It's my sponge." 
The next we saw was Blair with an umbrella 
separating the combatants and swearing vigorously. 
The hygienic properties of the rescued morsels were 
never afterwards referred to. 

I learned in that visit the wonderful qualities of 
Welsh air. I came down scarcely able to walk from 
the hotel to the station ; I finished up in a fortnight 
with more than a twenty-mile tramp. Blair was a 
great hill walker, and knew Wales and the Lake 
District in and out. The younger generation of 
Manchester will find as they grow old that they have 
lost many of the pleasures of memory which might 
have been theirs, because they have spent their 
holiday hours on crowded tees and in arid bunkers 
when they might have been learning something of 
what Coleridge meant when he wrote of 

" The power, the beauty and the majesty 
That had their haunts in dale or piny mountain, 
Or forest, by slow stream or pebbly spring, 
Or chasms and watery depths." 

For these things are to be found in Yorkshire and 
Derbyshire and Cumberland, and, of all places, in 
Wild Wales. And one who has lived a quarter of a 
century in Manchester and made good use of his 
time can at least say this in its favour with all truth 
and honesty, that it is the best city in the United 
Kingdom to get away from. 

83 G2 



CHAPTER VI 

QUARTER SESSIONS 

SECOND CITIZEN : Marry, we were sent for to the justices. 
THIRD CITIZEN : And so was I : I'll bear you company. 

SHAKESPEARE : " Richard III." 

THE quarter sessions courts are some of the oldest 
criminal courts in the kingdom. Some time in the 
reign of Edward III. their quarterly sittings were 
ordained by statute, but long before that they were 
a general court of justices for the maintenance of 
the peace, though not sitting quarterly. Henry V. 
appointed them to sit in the first weeks after Michael- 
mas Day, the Epiphany, Easter and the Translation 
of St. Thomas a Becket, which is July 7. These 
dates are but slightly modified by modern statute. 

It is curious how through the ages the clever ones 
of the world have gibed and jeered at justices and 
justices' justice. And yet at the bottom of the heart 
of English folk there is a feeling of love for these old 
institutions, and after all fair play to them they 
work well and make no more blunders in the 
administration of justice than any other courts, as 
the statistics of Appeal Courts will testify. But 
when you have on the bench a large number of 
laymen, many invested with a power the attributes 

84 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

of which they do not understand, you are bound 
to get character and comedy, and that is what to my 
mind attracted the writers of various ages to the 
justice of the peace rather than any burning desire 
for legal reform. 

And well it is that it has been so, for otherwise we 
should never have met Cousin Shallow Robert 
Shallow, Esquire " In the county of Gloster, justice 
of peace and coram. Ay, cousin Slender and 
cust-alorum. Ay, and rato-lorum too." And these 
allusions to-day only tickle the fancy of the anti- 
quarians. But on their own first night every 
playgoer must have known the difference between a 
mere justice, and one of the quorum, and knew too, 
that the Gustos Rotulorum was the principal civil 
officer of the county. I wager the play opened with a 
roar when Shallow stamped himself on his entrance 
as an absurd boaster who did not even know the 
titles of the dignities he claimed to have held. One 
can forgive Fielding his laughable account of Squire 
Western and his justiceship, which " was indeed a 
syllable more than justice," for Fielding was a 
stipendiary magistrate, and I never met a stipen- 
diary who had not a low opinion of the lay justices, 
the reason being, I suppose, as Montaigne tells us. 
that " few men are admired by their servants." 
Dickens was a reporter, and no doubt had come 
across the actual justice of the peace who sat for the 
portrait of Mr. Nupkins, but I think he would have 
agreed that Sam Weller's judgment that " there 
ain't a magistrate goin' as don't commit himself 

85 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

twice as often as he commits other people " is to be 
taken in a Pickwickian sense. Lay justices no 
doubt do commit themselves individually, but is this 
not true even of justices of the King's Bench Division? 
For instance : But forbear ! Who am I that I 
should suddenly become presumptuous and self- 
willed and begin to speak evil of dignitaries. 

And looking back quite honestly at the work done 
by justices at quarter and petty sessions, I think the 
outcry that arises over individual instances of mis- 
take, though good as a tonic for the bench, is not a 
fair thing if it is the only comment that fellow 
citizens have to offer to the wide amount of useful 
and honourable work that is done by the lay 
magistracy. 

But as a beginner at the Bar, I did not go to 
quarter sessions to study the interesting social 
problem of the value of a lay magistracy, but because 
it was in these courts I first attained not only the 
right of audience, but the thing itself. There were 
many sessions to attend, the most important being 
the sessions of the county holden at Lancaster, 
Preston, Salford and Kirkdale. Then there were the 
city sessions for Manchester and Liverpool, and 
borough sessions at Wigan and Bolton, the last- 
named being genially presided over by that good 
friend of the circuit, Sam Pope, Q.C. Even if you 
had no work when you got there, the jaunt into 
new surroundings and the social meeting when you 
arrived, and the feeling that after all you had a place 
in the pageant of some kind, was a pleasant relief 

86 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

from the dreariness of sitting in chambers. I 
suppose the racehorse who walks in after the race is 
over prefers being out on the heath to standing in 
his stall all day, and so it is with a junior barrister 
at quarter sessions. It is good to be in the race at 
all. And then as now, and I suppose as always, 
there was the same moaning about the want of work 
and the overcrowded state of the profession. But 
in the nature of things a profession, to be worth 
anything at all, must be overcrowded, the struggle 
for existence must be strenuously fought, many 
must be called and few chosen or a high standard 
of work will never be maintained. 

There is no doubt at all that the most difficult 
thing to do at the Bar is to begin. For years you go 
round the links without a golf ball, as it were, unless 
you have the luck to pick one up somewhere. 
Gilbert's classical receipt, namely, to fall in love with 
the rich attorney's elderly, ugly daughter, is scarcely 
available to the married man. 

I remember a disappointed cynic on the Northern 
Circuit, watching a third-rate encounter between two 
barristers of different religions, saying to me : 
" Parry, if I had my time over again I should start 
the Bar as a Jew or a Roman Catholic/' And 
certainly if you look among the list of those who have 
done well in the profession the members of these 
bodies are not unnumbered among the upper dogs. 

Another way to success is to start with plenty of 
money. As Falkner Blair said of a wealthy young 
junior, who was keen about getting work, " What a 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

pleasant thing it would be to have 5,000 a year to 
buy briefs with only why not buy something 
jollier ? " 

But money and friendly solicitors are not alone 
sufficient. Indeed, I have known men who were 
injured ,at the opening of their career by having 
briefs thrust at them which they were not equipped 
to deal with. Many of us, however, would have 
taken that risk willingly, no doubt. 

If, however, you know no solicitors and belong to 
no community specially interested in your welfare, 
and have no money, the only way is to show yourself 
at quarter sessions in the hope that you may be 
discovered by some enterprising solicitor. 

The quarter sessions of the city of Manchester, 
holden at Minshull Street, are run by the city 
authorities. There is a list of the members of the 
Bar present, and as counsel have the sole right of 
audience, each prisoner has to be prosecuted by 
counsel, and the minor cases are " souped " or given 
out in rotation among the junior bar. After this 
ceremony was over those of the juniors who had 
drawn blanks made off to lunch at their clubs, and 
were seen no more. 

I found it sufficiently entertaining to sit in 
court and listen to Blair and Shee, and Byrne 
and McKeand, defending prisoners, and my first 
glimpses of Manchester clubs were so pleasant that 
I deliberately did not join any for some time, so that 
I should not be tempted to be away from chambers 
in working hours. There were generally two courts 

88 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

at the Manchester Sessions, and it was not long 
before I was asked by some of my seniors to hold 
their briefs in one or another. 

At that time our recorder was Henry Wyndham 
West, Q.C. Manchester and West had very little in 
common. He was a typical Whig aristocrat, born 
and bred in London, impartial, honest, and fearless 
in his administration of the law, but apparently 
wanting in sympathy for, and certainly lacking in 
knowledge of, the working class in the north of 
England. It is said that in 1865, when he was 
appointed to the Recordership, he startled a Man- 
chester jury by some strange comments on the 
evidence as to the time of a theft. " Then, gentle- 
men, we are told that this happened at the dinner- 
hour. I think learned counsel for the Crown should 
have asked the witness to state the time more 
definitely, for, as we all know, the dinner-hour may 
mean any time in the evening between 6.30 
and 8." 

West, in his day, had had a great practice in the 
Yorkshire West Riding Sessions in cases as to the 
" settlement " of paupers, but these were all dead 
and gone now, and, except in a few important 
prosecutions, he did not do much work on circuit. 
For some reason unknown, he and the late Lord 
Coleridge did not love one another. Falkner Blair 
used to tell a story of Lord Coleridge coming on 
circuit in the early days and asking him about 
West. 

" I never see him at Westminster. What does he 
89 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

do ? " asked Lord Coleridge in his suavest and most 
silvery tongue. 

" He's Recorder of Manchester/' replied Blair. 

" Ah ! " 

" And Attorney-General for the Duchy of 
Lancaster." 

" Dear me ! " 

" And judge of the Salford Hundred Court of 
Record." 

" Is he really ? " 

" And prosecuting counsel for the Post Office." 

" You don't say so ! " said Coleridge, throwing up 
his head in astonishment. " What a lot of outdoor 
relief the fellow has ! " 

West, however, certainly had his revenge in a case 
at Liverpool. He was defending some men for 
assault upon a woman. The jury had disagreed at 
Manchester, and Lord Coleridge, who was eager to 
get a conviction probably for good reason tried 
them again in Liverpool. Louis Aitken who held 
a junior brief in the case with West used to give a 
graphic account of the scene as one of the most 
polished, yet deadly encounters he had ever 
witnessed between Bench and Bar. 

West had put up some men in the court, and 
asked the woman questions about them. He did 
not call the men as witnesses. After West had made 
his speech to the jury, during which there had been 
several skirmishes between Coleridge and himself, 
the Lord Chief Justice began the summing-up and 
West went out of court. The Chief commented 

90 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

severely upon West omitting to call the men who had 
been shown to the jury. Nash, one of West's juniors, 
jumped up to remonstrate, but Lord Coleridge 
swept him aside. Aitken went out for West, who 
returned and made an endeavour to interrupt the 
judge, for which he was sternly rebuked, and the 
summing-up continued to the end and the jury 
retired. Then West, with aristocratic humility, 
but in the tone of a schoolmaster who is going to 
administer punishment at the end of the lecture, 
began : 

" My lord, I understand your lordship commented 
unfavourably on my action in not calling as witnesses 
the men who were put up in court for identification 
by the prosecutrix." 

" I did, indeed, Mr. West," replied Coleridge in 
his silkiest manner. " Very unfavourably ; indeed, 
I regretted to feel compelled to make such strictures 
on the conduct of counsel." 

" I feel sure your lordship would, and it is with 
equal regret, and only because it is my duty to the 
prisoners and your lordship, that I must call your 
lordship's attention to the case of the Queen against 
Holmes, reported in 1871 in the first volume of 
the Law Reports Crown Cases Reserved, at page 
334. This case overruled the case of the Queen 
against Robinson, which doubtless your lordship 
remembers." 

" And what does the Queen against Holmes 
decide, Mr. West ? " 

"It decides that such witnesses cannot be called/' 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

said West, handing up the volume with a grave bow. 
" Your lordship will find that the Court of Crown 
Cases Reserved had exactly the same point before 
them, and overruled your lordship's learned father 
for the same error that your lordship has fallen into 
this morning." 

Coleridge did not lose his head, but replied with a 
charming bow and a sweet smile, " I am much 
indebted to you, Mr. West." 

West bowed low, and the duel was over. 

Coleridge had to send for the jury and tell them 
his mistake, which he did, of course, amply and 
thoroughly, and the men were acquitted. 

To my thinking West was a valuable asset to 
Manchester citizens, and they should have accounted 
it a privilege to have the constant example of a 
righteous aristocrat before them, if only to remind 
them that the Manchester ideal of men and manners 
is not the only ideal in the world. In nothing did 
these two ideals clash with greater sound and fury 
than in relation to commission cases, many of which 
came before the Court of Record. The commission 
sought to be recovered in that court was generally 
about as mean and low a commercial transaction as 
could be well imagined. On the sale of the good- 
will of a public-house or a business some tout would 
get hold of seller or buyer, and if he refused to be 
squeezed into paying a commission there would be a 
speculative action. 

In one of these cases relating to a public-house 
I was addressing the jury, and our best point, I 

92 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

remember, was that up to now no one had paid a 
commission of any kind, and therefore it was very 
reasonable my client should have one. I was 
expatiating on this when West interrupted in his 
biting way : 

" Is it a crime in Manchester to sell a public-house 
without paying a commission ? " 

" Not a crime/' I replied, " but exceedingly bad 
taste." 

The Manchester jury nodded approval. 

After I had won the case West and I walked up 
Strangeways together. He never wore a greatcoat, 
and in the summer sported a white hat. I can see 
his upright figure striding along with hands behind 
his back and hear the comedy of indignation in his 
voice as he turns round to me and says, " I tell you 
what it is, Parry. If a Manchester man sold his 
soul to the devil, some fellow-citizens would sue his 
executors for a commission on the transaction." 

" Very likely/' I replied, " and, after all, there are 
several members of the Northern Circuit we could 
spare to go down and take the evidence." 

But one would give a wrong impression of West if 
one left it to be understood that he was an indifferent 
judge. He was most earnest and painstaking in the 
discharge of his duties, and though he never sought 
to gain popularity by sentimentalism, he was very 
ready if he felt he could honestly do so to extend 
clemency to youths and first offenders and to the 
weak who had fallen through temptation. The 
heavy sentences he gave to the " scuttlers " gangs 

93 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

of young hooligans who used to terrorise the back 
streets were the subject of much comment. But 
they stamped out the disease, at all events tem- 
porarily, and left the ground clear for the more 
permanent cures of social reformers. The scuttler 
of the eighties finds a more wholesome outlet for his 
energy to-day in the boxing competitions at the 
lads' club or in the battalions of the Boy Scouts. 
On all occasions where West had to deal with 
questions having a moral and social as well as a 
legal aspect, his judgments were always healthy in 
tone and liberal and enlightened in policy. I 
remember well in a prize-fighting prosecution how 
clearly and wisely he drew the distinction, difficult 
to define in legal language, but easily understood in 
the common-sense light he threw upon it, between 
boxing as a wholesome and desirable sport or pas- 
time, and prize fighting as a brutal and degrading 
spectacle or entertainment. 

In all affairs that came before him he expressed 
the views of a moderate, sensible English gentleman 
who brought sound instincts of right and wrong to 
bear upon his interpretations of the law. Those 
who knew him personally will long remember the 
charm of his somewhat old-world courtesy, and recall 
with pleasure the wealth of his reminiscences and 
anecdotes of early Victorian years. And now he is 
gone we may openly remember his charitable deeds. 
Harsh and stern as he was generally accounted, 
some of us could have told of cases where he had 
personally assisted the relatives of those whom in the 

94 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

course of his duty he had been obliged to sentence to 
imprisonment. But had one written of these things 
in his lifetime, one would have forfeited his friend- 
ship, so careful was he to hide his good works before 
men and to leave his left hand in ignorance of the 
doings of the right. To those who knew the man as 
well as the judge, he will always remain an example 
of the aristocrat at his best. 

The quarter sessions of the county, holden at 
Preston and at Salford, were, when I first went to 
Manchester, very thriving and busy institutions. 
They were both presided over by William Housman 
Higgin, Q.C., a Lancashire worthy of an old-fashioned 
type. He took great pride in the orderly admin- 
istration of justice at his sessions, and conceived 
the Lancashire county justices to be ideal managers 
of county affairs. It was, indeed, generally admitted 
by the enemies of the system that Lancashire 
gained very little from the practical point of view 
by the institution of a county council, so excellently 
had the magistrates done their work. It grieved 
Higgin as years went on to see the new borough 
sessions of Oldham, Salford, Blackburn, and Burnley 
carved out of his district and diminishing the 
prestige of his most ancient jurisdiction, and he 
argued from a public point of view that as the leaders 
of the junior bar could not attend at these minor 
sessions, the work would never be done with its old 
efficiency. Be this as it may, it is certain that there 
is to-day no school of advocacy comparable to 
Higgin's quarter sessions when they were led by 

95 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Shee, Falkner Blair, and Charlie McKeand in the 
criminal cases, and Sutton, Bradbury, and Yates in 
the rating and licensing appeals. 

Higgin wore a beard, and his movements were 
greatly impeded by gout. There was, perhaps, 
no great outward appearance of dignity in his pre- 
sence, but, sitting in court when he was on the 
bench, I always felt that I could realise the phrase 
" the majesty of the law." Everything, however 
trivial, was conducted in the grand manner, and if 
Higgin was not without humour outside the court, 
within its walls he did not allow this to escape even 
by the twinkle of an eye. 

I remember at Preston a little juryman of a fussy 
nature claiming to affirm instead of taking an oath. 
The matter was referred to Higgin, who bowed 
gravely and said, " By all means, let the gentleman 
affirm." 

This did not satisfy the little juror, who, with 
impudent insistence, called out in a shrill voice, 
" But I claim a right to affirm. I claim it as of 
right." 

" Oh ! " said Higgin, suavely, looking down on the 
unfortunate little man as a dignified cat might look 
at a mouse. " Oh ! you claim it as of right. And 
on what ground, may I ask ? " 

The little juror flushed with pleasure. Higgin was 
giving him the opportunity he had been looking 
for. 

" Because I am an atheist," he blurted out : " I 
do not believe in a God." 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

Higgin gave him a withering look and waved him 
out of the box with his gouty hand, and another 
juror was chosen and sworn. Even then, outraged 
as Higgin's feelings were, I think nothing would have 
happened, but the pertinacious juror jumped up and 
said, " I suppose I may go." 

This was too much for Higgin's patience, and with 
all the solemnity at his command Higgin delivered 
the following sentence : " No, sir, you may not go. 
You are summoned here as a citizen to take part in 
these proceedings as a juror. If I am to believe 
your word and, unfortunately, I see no reason to 
doubt it the oath that has been offered to you 
would not be binding on your conscience, and there 
is no law enabling you to qualify yourself for your 
duties. At the same time, you have been rightly 
summoned here, and it is your duty to be present 
from the sitting of the court at nine-thirty until the 
court rises for the day. Go into yonder gallery," 
continued Higgin, pointing up to a solitary 
gallery opposite the bench. " and continue there, 
under pain of fine and imprisonment, until the 
sessions are concluded, from which place it will be 
your privilege to watch the proceedings of twelve 
honest Englishmen who do believe in God." 

I think at the end of the harangue, so impressively 
did Higgin deliver it, that the juror expected to 
hear that he was " to be hanged by the neck until 
he was dead." He slunk away to his lonely gallery, 
and Higgin never failed to make him a special bow 
of recognition every time he entered the court. 

J.s. 97 H 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

The sentences given by Higgin seemed to me 
terrible and almost brutal, but, as a matter of fact, 
the class of criminal dealt with is a very difficult 
proposition. Parliament provides no other way of 
keeping him out of mischief than penal servitude. 
If he is constantly in and out of prison he is a source 
of anxiety and wretchedness to his family and a 
dangerous nuisance to the public. Higgin's view 
was that when a man insisted on living by theft, 
society ought to keep him out of mischief, and, 
though it is a rough and perhaps cruel method of 
doing it, the sentimentalist would probably be better 
employed in instituting some kinder form of asylum 
for the hopeless cases than in vainly clamouring for 
their release from prison. There is at least as much to 
be said for the judge who put the Dartmoor shepherd 
in prison as for the statesman who let him out. 

Higgin had a very considerable practice in 
arbitrations, both as counsel and umpire or referee. 
He was popularly said to have killed the arbitration 
system in Lancashire by the length of the arbitrations 
and the height of his fees. 

Certainly the old days of fat arbitrations, with 
short hours and long lunches, did not survive into 
my time, though I was engaged in one or two 
important arbitrations which I thought were fought 
out with businesslike dispatch. Indeed, I think a 
good arbitration is the very best tribunal for a 
business dispute, always assuming that it is the 
interest of everyone connected with it to get it 
done at reasonable speed. 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

In Higgin's day, alas ! it was otherwise. I 
remember a good story Gully once told me of 
a Manchester arbitration. Two business men, 
brothers and partners, had very serious disputes, and 
agreed to dissolve partnership. Under their deeds 
of partnership the dispute had to go to arbitration. 
Arbitrators were chosen on each side and Higgin 
was appointed umpire. The tribunal sat at the 
Mitre, a favourite home of Higgin, and on the first 
day of the case Gully appeared for the defendant and 
Leresche afterwards County Stipendiary for the 
plaintiff. Neither brother had spoken to the other 
for many weeks, and the whole dispute was rather a 
painful one. About u o'clock Higgin arrived, 
and having greeted everyone with friendly but dila- 
tory courtesy, opened a few letters which his clerk 
had brought, and replied to them after obtaining 
leave of counsel to do so. 

Mine host then brought in the menu, and general 
consultation as to lunch took place. The hour was 
fixed at 1.30, the hot-pot ordered, and the 
brand of wine decided upon. The two brothers 
glared at each other during these strange proceedings 
with the uneasy feeling that this was to be a funeral 
feast and they were the corpse. To their rough 
Lancashire minds it had somewhat that appearance. 
And now it was nearing 12, and Leresche pro- 
ceeded to open the case. Leresche was not a man 
of few words at any time, and his methods of ob- 
taining full value out of an arbitration were expen- 
sive and peculiar. He started off by reading some 

99 H 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Scots deeds. They were deeds, he said, referred to 
in the partnership deed, and were deeds of trust 
and settlements and wills showing for some genera- 
tions where the partnership moneys had come from. 
Gully protested that these were not relevant, but 
Higgin gravely shook his head and said he never in- 
terfered with counsel in his opening, and away sped 
Leresche through a bewildering maze of incompre- 
hensible Scots law, continuing each deed to the end 
of its jargon, and then folding it up and placing 
it reverently in the middle of the table in front 
of Higgin. There was a leisurely and social lunch, 
all enjoying themselves except the two brothers, who 
sat silent in sulky gloom. Leresche, duly refreshed, 
went at the deeds again until about half-past three, 
when lie suggested an adjournment. 

" For now/' he said, putting his hand on the 
goodly pile before him, " I have read every deed, 
and, subject to what you may say, sir, and what 
my friend, Mr. Gully, may have to say, I really 
cannot, for my part, see why it should be necessary 
during the course of the arbitration to refer to these 
deeds again." 

" I cannot see how it would assist us," said Higgin, 
gravely, " unless Mr. Gully " 

Gully assured him he never wanted to see or hear 
of the deeds again. 

" Very well, then, Mr. Leresche, about to-morrow ? 
Eleven o'clock ?" 

" Yes, sir," replied Leresche, " and then I hope 
to begin to open the business part of my case." 

100 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

" By all means/' said Higgin, " eleven o'clock, 
gentlemen." 

As the two brothers were going downstairs, the 
elder tapped the junior on the shoulder. ', , : i ': ''' 

" Come and have a whisky with me, Donald;'' ; 

" I will, Ronald." 

" I tell you what it is, Donald. We're being 
had on a bit here." 

"I'm thinking the same, Ronald." 

They retired into the snug bar, and spent a 
friendly hour together. The next morning at eleven 
all met except Ronald and Donald. Their solicitors 
with blank faces produced letters from their clients 
that the litigation was over, and would they each 
send in their bills. 

" Ah ! " said Higgin, smiling pleasantly at the 
disconsolate Leresche. " To hear you read those 
Scots deeds would take the fight out of the most 
litigious. I ought to have stopped you. But, never 
mind, we have one consolation. Blessed are the 
peacemakers." 

And though both West the aristocrat and the 
Whig and Higgin the stern , unbending Tory were 
both sound judges, kind-hearted men and honest, 
upright, conscientious administrators of the law, 
yet it is easy to see that their usefulness was limited 
by their education and environment, and that it 
would be untruthful to deny that in all human 
beings in judges no less than in smaller men 
there is a class bias drawing their minds to certain 
conclusions and points of view. And no one can 

101 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

certainly blame those whose bringing up has 
been less fortunate and whose University has 
been, .the .-factory or the pit, from recognising 
very Clearly that the judicial mind does not 
readily coincide with the views and thoughts 
and aspirations of their own class. And this 
must remain so as long as the official places in 
the law are the appanage of the upper and middle 
classes. 

I have often wondered why more of the clever 
younger men of the working class do not grapple 
with the study of the law. A few years ago I 
addressed a labour audience in Manchester on 
this subject and listened to an interesting first- 
hand discussion of the matter. Although not 
expressed in so many words, I think there 
was an idea at the back of many speakers' 
minds that an individual selected to be educated 
and equipped for the profession would in the 
end break away from service to his order and 
seek to make good a great individual career. 
But I am not sure that this would of necessity 
be the case. I cannot imagine, for instance, that 
Charles Bradlaugh if he had been at the Bar 
would have utilised his sound and ingenious legal 
mind merely in the making of money. And 
the experiment should certainly be tried in the 
interests of the whole community, for the Labour 
Party will never be able to express its thoughts 
articulately and clearly until it has its own 
Attorney -General who can advise its Cabinet on 

102 



QUARTER SESSIONS 

the legal aspects of the measures they have to 
consider. 

And one reason why I should not like to see the 
ancient lay office of Justice of the Peace abolished 
is because there and there alone men of the working 
class are brought on to the bench as actual ministers 
of the law. No doubt as time goes on and education 
advances we shall find the circle widening out. 
There should be far more working men sitting on 
juries, and paid for their services, there should 
be more representatives of all branches of trades 
and industries sitting on the bench and taking 
part in quarter sessions, and the amalgamation 
of both branches of the profession would, I 
feel sure, lead to less class origin in judicial 
appointments. 

But looking at the administration of the law in 
this country in comparison with others, I cannot 
but think that the court of quarter sessions 
especially the larger county sessions, where the lay 
element is strongly represented upon the bench is 
a court wherein an innocent man desiring an honest 
verdict may take his trial with a real sense of 
security. And though no sane and reasonable 
citizen doubts the honest administration of the 
law in our country, yet perhaps words have fallen 
of late years from the lips of those in high places 
not unnaturally misunderstood in the lower places 
where they fell. For there are judges who make 
little effort to put themselves in the place of the poor 
folk whose affairs they are dealing with, and forget 

103 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

to obey the fifth law of Nature according to the 
statute of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. And 
" the fifth law of Nature is Compleasance ; that 
is to say, that every man strive to accommodate 
himself to the rest." Or as St. Paul wrote to the 
Galatians but you remember that. 



104 



CHAPTER VII 

THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

The more attention one gives to the punishment of death, the 
more he will be inclined to adopt the opinion of Beccaria that 
it might be disused. 

JEREMY BENTHAM : " Theory of Legislation." 

I HAVE long gone about with a conviction that 
Sir Henry Wotton was right when he said that 
" hanging was the worst use man could be put to/' 
Not that I think he ever thrashed out the pros and 
cons of the matter in his mind, but being, as Dr. Ward 
says, a man of noble purposes and high thoughts, 
whose qualities united into " the amalgam of a true 
English gentleman/' he knew instinctively that the 
thing was repellent to his nature, and therefore it 
followed that it was economically unsound and 
morally wrong. Being a courtier, he pretended that 
the sentiment was that of the Duke of Buckingham, 
and being a man of humour he invested his Grace's 
thought in an epigram. And for my part, though 
the judgment is some three hundred years old it is 
the last word on the subject. Dr. Johnson, who, 
whatever greater qualities he possessed, was not a 
gentleman or to be more accurate, perhaps, was on 
occasion " no gentleman " was wont to express 

105 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

himself wittily on the subject of hanging, for, as he 
said, " Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is 
to be hanged in a fortnight it concentrates his mind 
wonderfully." In like manner, in the true con- 
servative spirit, he inveighed against the abolition 
of the good old days of Tyburn. " The age is 
running mad after innovation ; all the business of 
the world is to be done in a new way ; Tyburn itself 
is not safe from the fury of innovation. No, Sir, 
(said he eagerly,) it is not an improvement : they 
object that the old method drew together a number 
of spectators. Sir, executions are intended to draw 
spectators. If they do not draw spectators they 
don't answer their purpose. The old method was 
most satisfactory to all parties ; the publick was 
gratified by a procession ; the criminal was supported 
by it. Why is all this to be swept away ? " 

Of course the old fellow was only pulling young 
Boswell's leg. These were not his real opinions at 
all. Thanks to Dr. Birkbeck Hill, one can always 
study the varying philosophy of Dr. Johnson with 
his pen in his hand, and Dr. Johnson with his tongue 
in his cheek. 

Johnson, the man of letters, " the strong and noble 
man " in an essay in the Rambler, gives us his real, 
earnest, sincere thoughts on the sentence of death. 
" It may be observed that all but murderers have, at 
their last hour, the common sensations of mankind 
pleading in their favour. They who would rejoice at 
the correction of a thief are shocked at the thought 
of destroying him. His crime shrinks to nothing 

106 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

compared with his misery, and severity defeats itself 
by exciting pity." 

In that last phrase it seems to me that the great 
man puts his finger upon the real objections to the 
death sentence from the public point of view. The 
pity that should be bestowed upon the victim is 
poured out in muddy sentimentalism at the foot of 
the scaffold. The sentence of death, " of dreadful 
things the most dreadful," surrounds its victim with 
a halo in the morbid, popular mind that blacks out 
the sense of the crime and cruelty for which the 
murderer is to be punished. 

It is curious how little interest is taken in the 
subject of the death sentence to-day. On many a 
question of sociology the best that has yet been said 
has been said many generations ago. When Cesare 
Bonesana Marchese di Beccaria published his " Dei 
Delitti e delle Pene " in 1764 the world was thirst- 
ing to read what was to be said scientifically 
about crime and punishment, and the book actually 
caused the abolition of many death sentences 
in several European countries. For a book to 
cause any reform whatever sounds to-day like 
a miracle. 

And, indeed, it almost seems as though since 
the eighteenth century the pendulum has swung 
back again towards the Old Testament view of 
things. In this matter of capital punishment the 
modern authorities are more disciples of Moses than 
of the Apostles. They cry out, " Eye for eye, 
burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for 

107 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

stripe;" yet the student of Asiatic folk-lore might 
well remember that Cain was not sentenced to death, 
but, on the contrary, was purposely protected from 
execution. 

That the death sentence is a deterrent is commonly 
said, yet the evidence seems to me unconvincing. 
The fear of death is a weakness ; but, in fact, death 
is not a subject widely thought of. A murderer no 
more contemplates death on the scaffold than he 
thinks of any other form of death. As to the dis- 
grace of such an end, that is more than compensated 
for by the opportunity of bravery and display so 
dear to criminal conceit. No sooner is a man con- 
demned to death than the whole attitude of the 
official mind changes towards him. He is treated 
with exceptional humanity. His gaoler becomes 
full of charity towards him. The clergyman assures 
him of divine forgiveness. He dies in the odour of 
sanctity, with pious sentiments upon his lips. Time 
is not perhaps necessary to repentance, but surely as 
a test of repentance, time is of the essence. 

That there is a real human sentiment against 
hanging comes out, I think, in the odium and horror 
with which the actual hangman is regarded. Mr. Mar- 
wood, of Horncastle from whom as a boy I used to 
buy shoe laces, which were regarded with religious 
awe by my class mates felt this very deeply. He 
was an amiable, kindly man, as I remember. Indeed, 
why there should be any special prejudice against a 
hangman if his office is so necessary and worthy, it is 
hard to understand. The race is a tender-hearted 

108 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

one, if records may be believed. Mr. James Berry 
to whom Mr. Marwood handed over his rope and 
pinions, tells us in that naive and excellent auto- 
biography of his " Experiences of an Executioner," 
that before his first execution, when his dinner 
arrived consisting of " rice pudding, black currants, 
chicken, vegetables, potatoes, bread and the usual 
teetotal beverages, I tried to make the best of it, 
but all that I could do was to look at it, as my 
appetite was gone." Is not that even more con- 
vincing than all the philosophy of Beccaria ? The 
prisoner eats a good breakfast, the hangman starves, 
the prisoner in the dock is calm and reasonable, the 
judge breaks down and weeps. What mean these 
portents ? 

Some day it will dawn on rulers that it is not a 
wise example to the mind of murderous tendency to 
deliberately do the very thing which the State pro- 
fesses to regard with feelings of grief and indignation. 
When a low-class ruffian runs amuck, shouting 
" I'll swing for you ! " and murders his victim, he is 
proving the corollary of the Mosaic proposition. If 
the law is to be a life for a life, it is fair for him to take 
a life when he is ready to give his own in exchange. 
It is rough, brutal logic, but not wholly fallacious. 

And what will bring governments to a really 
grave consideration of the subject is the increasing 
difficulty in obtaining a conviction for murder, and 
the still greater difficulty in carrying out the sentence 
afterwards. In the Habron case the sentimental 
public was right and officialdom wrong, and the 

109 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

former saved a life. Since then the sentimentalists 
back their opinion against officialdom on every sen- 
tence that is pronounced. Scarcely any murderer 
outrages the public mind so greatly but petitions are 
widely signed by the hysterical against the fulfilment 
of the law. True we have abolished Tyburn and the 
bellman of St. Sepulchre's, and the apples and 
ginger-bread and the fighting and bawling and gin 
drinking. No longer does Lord Tom Noddy invite 
his friends to supper at the Magpie and Stump " to 
see a man swing at the end of a string " in the 
morning sunrise. But have we not something of 
the same degradation in the highly spiced, detailed 
accounts of every moment of a murderer's life from the 
day of the crime, through the excitement of the chase, 
up to the dramatic capture, and then along the close 
verbatim of the evidence until we reach the grand 
denouement of the sentence of death. Some there 
are still faithful to eighteenth-century tradition, 
huddling in the cold streets round the gaol gates to 
watch the gaoler put up a notice of the end, for the 
old black flag dear to this little band of stalwarts has 
been hauled down, alas ! for the last time. Of all the 
blessings of the Education Acts none is taken greater 
advantage of, I should say, than the privilege of 
reading the diligent and accurate reports of murder 
trials in the Press of to-day. Personally, I prefer the 
ballads and broadsides and last dying speeches and 
confessions of the older race of criminals, but some of 
the picturesque articles of the imaginative or, as he 
prefers to be called, descriptive reporter of the more 

no 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

saffron-coloured Press have the true eighteenth- 
century brush-mark, and I confess that they give me 
a momentary second-hand thrill of horror quite 
acceptable to my coarser nature. I do not wish to 
do these excellent writers any injury, but I am 
steadily hardening in the opinion that they are the 
only persons in the community who derive any 
benefit whatever from the death sentence, and we 
must really run the risk of injuring their livelihood. 

Personally, I never sat through murder trials 
unless I had a business interest in them, nor to me 
are they merely as trials of greater interest than 
many other trials. But the overhanging sentence of 
death gives them a colour that stamps them very 
vividly in the memory. 

What a curious drab, unentertaining drama was 
that of Mrs. Britland, but for the sentence of death 
at the fall of the curtain. 

Yet perhaps if Dumas had had the handling of this 
chapter he would have spun you a wonderful and 
mysterious story out of the web of it. Though I 
doubt after all if he would have deigned to write 
about such a humble practitioner in the art of 
poisoning. He must have his most noble Marquise 
de Brinvilliers and her elegant accomplice, Sainte 
Croix, before he can transpose squalid crime into 
profitable romance. 

Mary Ann Britland is a figure in Manchester 
history as being the only woman ever hanged for 
murder in Strangeways Gaol. For myself, I think 
that nothing could have saved her from the ultimate 

in 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

penalty of the law, though' I recognise that there are 
distinctions even among evildoers, and that there 
was sense in the " bull " of the Irish barrister when 
he was asked his opinion about the Maybrick case, 
and said : " After all, you can't expect an English 
Home Secretary to hang a lady he might meet out at 
dinner afterwards." The trial was interesting to me 
as being the first murder trial I had ever sat through, 
and the closing scenes of it, horrible as they were, 
impressed me very strongly with the inadvisability 
of a Crown Court sitting late into the night on the 
trial of prisoners, and went far to convince me that 
capital punishment enshrined the wickedest criminal 
in a veil of mystery behind which the crime itself and 
its victims were too often lost sight of. 

Mary Ann Britland was a factory operative about 
thirty-nine years old, living with her husband and 
daughter in Turner Lane, Ashton. On March 9, 1886, 
her daughter died very suddenly. On May 3 her 
husband died equally suddenly. She then went to 
live with some neighbours named Mr. and Mrs. Dixon. 
She and Mr. Dixon had been on very friendly terms, 
and the evidence showed that Mary Dixon, her 
friend's wife, invited her to her house out of com- 
passion. On May 14 Mary Dixon died very 
suddenly. Upon this the Ashton police began to 
bestir themselves. A post-mortem was held on 
Mary Dixon, revealing the fact that she died of 
strychnine poisoning. Mrs. Britland was arrested. 
The bodies of her daughter and husband were 
exhumed, and the evidence showed that they, too, 

112 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

had died of strychnine poisoning. Thomas Dixon 
was now arrested, and an inquiry begun before the 
magistrates. Falkner Blair defended the woman, 
and Byrne appeared for Dixon. There was little or 
no evidence against the latter, and an eloquent 
speech by Byrne secured his discharge before the 
magistrates. Although no doubt he was innocent, 
it was to this piece of advocacy he probably 
owed his life, as unless a judge on the trial had 
withdrawn his case from the jury on the ground 
that there was no evidence against him it is 
almost certain he would have been convicted, so 
hopeless is the position of a man whose only apology 
is that the woman tempted him and he fell, when 
he comes before a tribunal of twelve fellow-sinners. 
Dixon's only chance would have been a jury of 
women. 

The trial came before Mr. Justice Cave in July of 
the same year. Addison, Q.C., and Woodard pro- 
secuted, and Blair and Byrne defended. I had 
made a precis of the case for Blair at his request, 
and I took a note for them during the trial. The 
case lasted two days, and at the end of the second 
day Blair addressed the jury. The evidence was 
overwhelming. The three deceased persons had 
been poisoned by strychnine. Mrs. Britland had 
purchased " mouse powder " in sufficient quantities 
to kill them all, and there was no evidence of any 
mice on whom it could have been legitimately 
used. The case of the poisoning of Mrs. Dixon was 
the one actually tried, but the deaths of the others 

J.S. 113 I 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

were proved to show " system " and rebut the de- 
fence of accident. Even if there had not been 
sufficient evidence to secure a conviction, Mrs. 
Britland had had many indiscreet conversations 
about " mouse powder " and poisoning, and had been 
anxious to discover whether such poisoning could be 
traced after death. Blair's task seemed hopeless 
enough, but he made an eloquent and cunning 
address to the jury. 

It was one of those cases where anything like 
reasoned argument would have been useless. The 
only chance for the advocate who loved his art as 
Blair did was to endeavour to instil doubt into 
the receptive minds of the jury, that by good hap 
the prisoner should gain the benefit of it. This he 
did with great skill, touching lightly upon the 
possibilities of accident or of poisoning by some 
other hands, or even of self-administration. And 
in those days when the guilty one was safe in the 
dock and could give no evidence, there was greater 
scope for the art of advocacy for is it not an art, 
as Master Izaak tells us, to " deceive a trout with an 
artificial fly ? " And Blair was a great artist at the 
raising of haunting doubts, which followed the jury 
when they retired to their inner room, so that he 
almost seemed to be the thirteenth man on the 
jury, he and his doubts remained so present to their 
anxious minds. And I remember no advocate who 
could handle a hopeless case more cleverly within the 
honest rules of the game, unless it be Sir Edward 
Clarke himself. The result was extraordinary. 

114 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

Mr. Justice Cave summed up in a businesslike and 
sensible style, expecting a conviction in a few minutes, 
and at twenty minutes to six the jury retired. The 
judge waited some little time, but, as they did not 
return, he went across to his lodgings, then in the 
same building, and we went upstairs to the Bar 
mess. At a quarter to eight they returned. The 
wretched prisoner was put up in the dock. The 
foreman explained that they were not agreed. 
They handed a paper to the judge, who told them 
to retire and consider the matter further. 

Blair left the building and Byrne remained to see 
what happened. It was well after 10 o'clock at 
night before they returned into court. I suppose 
the clerk of assize knew that they had not agreed 
upon their verdict, and for humane reasons did 
not send for the prisoner. Then began a con- 
versation between the judge and the foreman. 
The judge told the jury that he must direct that 
they be taken to the hotel for the night, and then 
said, " Is there any legal difficulty in which I can 
assist you ? " 

" Only the paper I gave you, my lord." 

" Yes, but is there any legal difficulty in your 
way ? " 

To which the foreman replied, " Nothing, only 
that you have there." 

Upon which the judge again told them he must 
direct them to be taken to the hotel. 

There was a pause. No one had any doubt what 
the trouble of the jury was. They wanted in their 

115 r 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

wrong-headed way to acquit Mrs. Britland because 
they could not convict Mr. Dixon. 

Cave thought for a moment, and then turning to 
the jury made a short summing-up, tearing up any 
shreds of evidence there might have been against 
Dixon, and putting the case against Mrs. Britland 
in true and convincing colours, winding up by 
saying, " And now, gentlemen, you had better go 
and consider it, and to-morrow morning I will hear 
what you have to say." 

The jury held a brief consultation and begged a 
quarter of an hour in which to escape the threatened 
hotel. The judge granted this, and again the 
jury retired. 

I am far from saying that modern judges permit 
wretches to hang that jurymen may dine, or that 
they are actuated by any but business motives in 
sitting late hours, but I have my doubts whether 
justice is as well administered in the late hours of 
the night as in more normal business hours, and it 
is at least noticeable how this takes place more in the 
provinces, where the judges live in lodgings, than in 
London, where their lordships are in reach of their 
clubs and their homes. I do not think the jury in 
the Britland case would have agreed but for the 
threat of the hotel made to them at 10 o'clock at 
night, but it was certainly in mercy to the wretched 
woman in the dock that the affair was ended, for 
there were two other indictments for murder 
hanging over her head. 

I said the woman in the dock, but the late hours 
116 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

were, I fear, responsible for a very curious blunder 
in procedure. 

Whilst Mr. Justice Cave was giving his last 
instructions to the jury, of which Byrne and I took 
notes, I added to my note, " During this direction 
of the judge the prisoner was absent." I called 
Byrne's attention to this fact, and he decided to 
make a note of it and say nothing. 

Blair afterwards considered that if he moved 
for a writ of error the fact of the prisoner's absence 
might be held to invalidate the verdict, so jealously 
is the right of a prisoner to be present during his 
trial guarded by the English law. 

Nothing was done in the matter because of the 
two further indictments. Still, had the trial been 
concluded in normal working hours, such a blunder 
would not have been made by judge or clerk of 
assize. 

And now the jury return and answer to their 
names. The gaslights flare up. Doors swing back- 
wards and forwards as counsel and officials come 
hurrying into court. From behind the javelin men 
crowds press eagerly forward at the back of the 
court, and tired faces peer through the darkness 
of the gallery, whence you hear murmurs and sighs 
of relief that at last the moment waited for is at 
hand. The wretched woman, tottering to the front 
of the dock, is the colour of the parchment upon 
which her crime is indicted. She is asked why 
sentence should not be pronounced. She clings 
to the rails and begins slowly and firmly, " I am 

117 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

quite innocent.. I am not guilty at all," and then 
breaks into piteous sobs and tears, and the female 
warder holds her in position as if she were being 
photographed. The judge's clerk, who is stifling 
a yawn, has placed the black cap on his master's 
wig. The judge in his nasal, solemn tones gets to 
the sentence in as few personal words as may be. 
The woman shrieks out " I never administered any- 
thing at all to Mary Dixon ! Nothing whatever ! " 
And when the judge reaches in resolute, mournful 
syllables the formal death sentence, the human voice 
that utters it seems to toll like a harsh metal bell 
hopelessly and inevitably beating out the last 
official message of the law : " And that is that you 
be taken from here to the prison from whence you 
came, that from thence you be taken to a place of 
execution, and that there you be hanged by the 
neck until you be dead, and that your body be buried 

within the precincts of the prison " But the 

final prayer that the Lord may have mercy on her 
soul is lost in the wild, terror-stricken cries of the 
woman for mercy as they unfasten her fingers from 
the rails and carry her down the stairs towards the 
gaol, and her shrieks and sobs come echoing out of the 
stone passages below into the darkening court from 
which her fellow-creatures are slinking away in horror. 
The only other murder case in which I was engaged, 
and in which the sentence of death was passed, was 
in 1889 a case in which I prosecuted as junior to 
Falkner Blair and the facts remain vividly in my 
memory. 

118 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

Reg. v. Dukes, or the Bury murder, as it was 
called, attracted widespread interest. Dukes was 
manager of one of a series of furniture shops belonging 
to the Gordon Furnishing Company, the central 
shop of which was in Strangeways, Manchester. 
The business was owned by an old man named 
Gordon, who had two sons, Meyer and George. The 
family were Jews. George Gordon visited the Bury 
shop every Tuesday. There seems no doubt that 
Dukes had been stealing the takings, and for a month 
before the murder he kept on sending to Manchester 
bogus letters and telegrams about business with the 
intention of keeping George Gordon away from Bury. 
For three or four Tuesdays he had not made his 
usual visit, and when he did come on the morning of 
Tuesday, September 24, Dukes was not there, but, 
as we learned afterwards, was lying hid and drinking 
in a neighbouring public-house. Gordon examined 
the books and waited for Dukes, and then returned 
to Manchester. 

There he seemed to have consulted with his father, 
and returned to Bury, Meanwhile, Dukes had 
followed George Gordon to Manchester, called at the 
central shop, and made a statement that he had been 
in Manchester on business all day, that he was 
returning to Bury, and would take a message from 
the father, which he did. At Bury he now met 
George Gordon. The shopboy was sent off by Dukes 
with some furniture to an address that proved to be 
an empty house. When he left with the cart about 
2.30, Gordon and Dukes were alone in the shop 

119 



WHAT tnfi JUDGE SAW 

together. He heard them talking as he drove away. 
Within a few minutes Dukes had killed Gordon with 
a hammer, striking him on the back of his head. 

I remember going with Blair and the police to the 
scene of the murder. It was a little mean shop in a 
main thoroughfare, about a hundred yards from the 
Bolton Street Station. It was a building of two 
stories and a cellar, and if the under floor of the 
cellar had not been cement the murder might not 
have been discovered for many years. For we saw 
the chips in the edge of the flags, where Dukes had 
removed one for experimental burial purposes. 

The first thing Dukes did to cover up his tracks 
was to send a telegram to the elder Gordon as from 
George to say he had gone to Liverpool and would 
not be back that night. The next day old Gordon 
consulted the Manchester police, and the Bury police 
were communicated with, but nothing was known 
against Dukes, and the official view laughingly 
communicated to the old man was that he would see 
his son again when his money was spent and he was 
tired of Liverpool. As far as we could reconstruct 
his story from the evidence before us, Dukes, having 
bought a pick and failed to dig a grave with it, wasted 
a whole day without any further move. Then he 
hit on the idea of putting the body into a wardrobe 
which he was going to cart over the hills to Rochdale, 
intending probably to throw the body out behind 
some stone wall on the moors to the north or dispose 
of it in some solitary place. For this purpose on 
Thursday afternoon, two days after the murder, 

120 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

he had hired a cart which was waiting at the 
door. 

Wednesday, September 25, was the New Year 
in the Jewish calendar, when it is the custom of 
Jewish families to gather together in the synagogue. 
" Let us wait until the night of Wednesday," said 
George Gordon's father, " and if George is alive he 
will be with us, and if he be not here, then we shall 
know he is dead." 

On Thursday morning there was no news of 
George. The old man and his son Meyer went to the 
Manchester police, and were referred to Bury. At 
Bury they insisted that George was dead, and the old 
man expressed his belief that his body was in the 
shop in Central Street. 

The police, more to pacify the distressed father 
than from any belief in his fears, agreed to make a 
search of the house, and thus it was that as the cart 
stood outside waiting to load up the wardrobe which 
Dukes was taking away, Sergeant Ross and two 
constables with old Gordon and Meyer entered the 
shop. 

A thorough search was made, and the police for 
the first time noticed signs of recent disturbances in 
the cellar. Whilst the search was going on Dukes 
made an exit down a side entry, and was brought 
back by the police. Sergeant Ross began to take a 
deeper interest in him. Nothing more serious, how- 
ever, was found, and they all stood in the little shop 
around the wardrobe. It looked as if the business 
of the police was over. 

121 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

" What is this wardrobe lying here f or ? " asked 
old Gordon. 

" It's going out to Rochdale ; the cart is waiting 
outside for it now/' replied Dukes. 

" Open it," demanded the old man. 

" I cannot. A lady bought it. She packed some 
things in it, and locked it and took the key." 

" Then burst it open. It's mine. Burst it open." 

There seemed no doubt what the old man expected 
to see. A police officer prized the door. It flew 
readily upward, disclosing its horrid, huddled con- 
tents. Meyer flew at Dukes's throat, crying, " You 
have murdered my brother ! " But the police pulled 
him off, and saved Dukes for the law. 

Early in December the case was heard, and we 
pieced together by a large number of witnesses the 
story of the murder. The prisoner made a state- 
ment to the effect that he had been attacked by 
Gordon and killed him in self-defence. It was a 
lame effort, and even Cottingham's eloquence could 
not endow it with probability. It was a callous and 
brutal murder, almost excusing the brutal comment 
which I heard as I passed through the crowded hall 
where the result was being discussed. 

" Well, 'e won't get any Christmas dinner, chuse 
'ow." 

Dukes was hanged at Strangeways Gaol on 
Christmas Eve. 

I agree that there was little pity shown for Dukes, 
who was a sodden, heartless creature, and a criminal 
of the most degraded type. But the interest in the 

122 



THE SENTENCE OF DEATH 

trial swept away any sympathy or thought for 
the victim and the unfortunate relatives who 
had been plunged into sorrow by the act of the 
criminal. 

Just as I have no doubt that the sentence of death 
for theft and other offences, well and reasonably and 
sensibly defended by the more cautious property- 
owning minds of the eighteenth century, was ulti- 
mately abolished in deference to the sentiments of 
the weaker-minded of the community and the real 
necessities of society that they understood better 
than their opponents, so I have no doubt the sen- 
tence of death will pass away from our administration 
of the law altogether before many years are past. 
I do not suggest the question is a very burning one 
from the point of view of criminal law, but from the 
point of view of education and the evolution of right 
action and conduct in the community, it seems to me 
to be of importance. I am certainly far from 
believing that anything I may say or write will 
hasten matters, nor, indeed, is there any hurry about 
the affair. It is only some three hundred years since 
that good Christian gentleman, Sir Henry Wotton, 
laid down the principle that the hanging of men was 
an uncitizen-like act. True, the principle has long 
been accepted by the majority, but we are a cautious 
and conservative race. I have long ago ceased 
expecting to see reforms come about in my own day. 
I hear the statesman calling upon me to " Wait and 
see ! " and although I shall certainly wait as long as 
I can, I shall not worry if it is not my lot to see. I 

123 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

have very clear visions from my own little mountain 
of the promised land that my great-grandchildren 
and their youngsters will live in. It will be as far 
removed from us as we are from the days of Sir 
Henry Wotton, but what was good common-sense 
in his day will be good common-sense in theirs, as it 
is in ours, and ever shall be, world without end. 



124 



CHAPTER VIII 

JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

" You did, sir," replied the judge with a severe frown. " How 
could I have got Daniel on my notes unless you told me so, 
sir?" 

DICKENS : " The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club." 

PETER considered those bad bold ones who spoke 
evil of dignities were merely " presumptuous," but 
I am on the side of Jude, who roundly assessed them 
to be " filthy dreamers." Happily, to an English- 
man, evil speaking of judges is impossible. Indeed, 
the English attitude of mind towards the Bench, 
if one can conceive the English mind capable 
of finding itself in an incorrect attitude, has a 
tendency towards idolatry. The infallibility of the 
Pope we smile at as a superstition, but the infallibility 
of the Court of Appeal is an article of faith upon which 
we issue execution, unless, of course, it is surpassed 
and overruled by the more infallible infallibility of 
the House of Lords. Only the will of the people and 
the great inquest of the nation can alter a decision 
of the House of Lords, unless there happens to be 
a Government in office with a will of its own and the 
capacity to act upon it and you never know what 
may occur some day. And really we so love and 
worship our judges that when we tell stories of 

125 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

their quaint humours we do so much as a good 
Italian Catholic will scold his patron saint or tell 
some anecdote of the holy ones more lively than 
respectful. For we know that judges are only 
human, and we have seen many grow f reward from 
age, their faculties become dim, their qualities rust, 
until at length they lose the one essential attribute of 
judicality, they are no longer able to suffer fools 
gladly, and the public and the Bar become uneasy 
of their continuance. And., on the other hand, 
what patience and loving-kindness are shown by 
the advocate towards the judge. No hours are too 
long, no time is misspent in preventing him from 
error, or leading him thereto, as the case may be. I 
love to hear that phrase trundled out with unblush- 
ing sycophancy, " Your lordship will remember the 
case of Crocks and the Wapping Corporation, in 
fourteen ' Meeson and Welsby.' " Every one in court 
except perhaps some loafer in the gallery knows 
that his lordship never heard of the case before, and 
if he had would have forgotten it. Indeed, the 
learned Counsel himself only had it shoved into his 
hand an hour ago by little Smithson. who devils for 
him, and it was I who met the disconsolate little 
man in the Middle Temple Library and told him 
but that is outside the frame of the picture. You 
have the whole subject-matter set out in one phrase 
" Contempt of Court/' This is a feeling that must 
be closeted strictly within the heart otherwise 
seven days. 

I remember an irate Scotch draper saying quite 
126 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

seriously to me at the end of a case, " I have an 
utter contempt for this court." 

" My good man/' I said thankfully, " you have 
saved me from a most painful duty. Had you 
expressed a mere contempt of court I must have 
sent you to Knutsford Gaol, but an utter con- 
tempt seems to me to save you. But do not say it 
again, I may be wrong. Go outside as quickly as 
you can/' 

He disappeared. Had I been a Plowden I should 
have added " and utter contempt there/' But 
I only thought of that going home in the tram. 

And when I think of the judges of yesterday I 
think first of all of the great and honest services they 
rendered to the State, and then I recall them through 
some quaint story, or maybe some trick of speech or 
manner, just as you may remember a great cathedral 
both as a mighty and noble building and as the 
edifice from which sprang some grotesque gargoyle 
whose humours have always haunted you when the 
name of the building was sounded. 

Of the many judges that came the Northern 
Circuit during my short career at the Bar some few 
are still, I am glad to say, judges of to-day, and 
several have but recently passed away. And the 
figure that is perhaps in the foreground of my 
memory is that of Mr. Justice Grantham, who, less 
than a year ago, vigorous and popular as ever, 
celebrated his silver anniversary on the circuit. 
I was present at the banquet given to him by the 
circuit, and as he stood before us, four-square to the 

127 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

winds of criticism and popular or perhaps I should 
say unpopular disapproval, what human sympathy 
and enthusiasm rang out in our cheers. We knew 
him only as a hard-working, conscientious judge, as 
a clean, honest man, and as that rara avis, a south 
country man who understood and admired the 
bracing atmosphere of the north. He told us how, 
when he was junior judge and the circuits were 
chosen, that every circuit was taken by his seniors 
except that containing Manchester and Liverpool, 
for which he had to start out with the condolences of 
his brethren. Now when he was senior judge he had 
the first choice, and despite his years he came back 
to Liverpool and Manchester because he liked the 
straight, manly business methods in which the work 
of the Northern Circuit is done. And what he said 
was no mere after-dinner compliment, it was as honest 
and true as the cheers of those who welcomed him 
back. I have seen Grantham at his very worst 
sitting on the bench, trying a political libel action ; 
I have seen Grantham at his very best standing in 
an old Sussex wagon and judging a Bar point-to- 
point steeple-chase, and I have seen him presiding as 
judge in many different cases with varying success, 
but I have never seen him do anything but what 
he believed to be the only straight, honest thing to 
do. That is why he was so exasperating and lovable. 
He not only had strong, simple English ideals, but he 
acted up to them in open daylight. Any man of 
his ability and without his sincerity could have 
steered a safer and easier course. Grantham could 

128 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

only steer the straight course once his course 
was set, he followed it with dogged fidelity. Small 
wonder, therefore, that sometimes he ran on the 
rocks. But when he did he bore no malice to the 
rocks indeed, so optimistic and full of good 
humour was he that he scarcely knew that there 
had been a collision. 

A little while ago Grantham made a speech to the 
Liverpool grand jury which attracted much attention. 
A few days afterwards I was present at the banquet 
given to the judges at the Town Hall, and the 
Lord Mayor of Liverpool called upon me to propose 
the toast of the grand jury. There were no reporters 
at these festivities, so it was not inconvenient to 
make some humorous remarks at the learned judge's 
expense if one dared. I recall the shudder of 
aldermanic apprehension when I started, and its 
quick change to purple laughter when it was seen that 
Grantham was thoroughly enjoying it all. I re- 
member as we left the banqueting hall his friendly 
pat on the shoulder and his kindly laugh as he said, 
" Very good fun, Parry ! Just like old times ! 
But I was quite right, wasn't I ? " And there 
you had the man at his best. There was no mean- 
ness or littleness about him. He was honest, simple, 
outspoken, cocksure, keen to do right and English 
to the backbone. There was no policy or finesse in 
anything that he did, and he was out for work and 
business. That is why he was so welcome and 
beloved on the Northern Circuit. 

But his slackness in finesse often cost him tricks 
J.s. 129 K 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

in the Court of Appeal. Here is an example of 
what I mean. 

I appeared for a small carpenter whose shop had 
been injured by the pulling down of adjoining 
buildings to clear the site of a new infirmary. The 
defendants were trustees of the institution. The 
claim was 175 us. 2d. or some such figures and 
I got a verdict for every pound, shilling, and penny t 
in spite of Gully's eloquence. 

Grantham started his summing-up as follows I 
quote, of course, from memory : 

" Gentlemen of the jury, if you are as heartily glad 
as I am that this is the last case at the Manchester 
Assizes, and that, after this, we shall be able to get 
away into pleasanter surroundings, you will not be 
long in doing substantial justice to the plaintiff." 

I shall never forget how strange the words sounded 
in the cold, grey light of the Court of Appeal, and 
how Lord Esher roared out an encore to Gully when 
he read them to the Court. We did not keep that 
verdict. Smyly, Q.C., led me, and Esher, in one of 
his wild humours, romped round the court with him 
in playful savagery. One gem of Grantham's was 
in reference to Gully's defence : " Then, gentlemen 
of the jury, Mr. Parry is told he should have sued the 
contractors instead of the trustees, and the con- 
tractors would have said ' sue the foreman/ and the 
foreman would have said ' sue the hodman,' and so 
it would have been like the house that Jack built." 

" Which house is that, Mr. Smyly ? " said Lord 
Esher. 

130 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

" Really, my lord " 

" Is it on either of the plans you have put in ? " 
continued the Master of the Rolls, waving them 
about impatiently. 

Bowen smiled like a benignant Cheshire cat. 

" I am not certain," continued Smyly, cautiously, 
" that the house in question is in any way connected 
with the case." 

" It must be," said Esher, " or why did Mr. Jus- 
tice Grantham tell the jury about it." 

I was tugging away at Smyly 's gown, and he 
turned round and asked what on earth the house that 
Jack built was all about. 

" A nursery rhyme. Don't you know it ? This is 
the house that Jack built. This is the malt ' " 

" Oh, of course," interrupted Smyly, turning 
round to the Court with great seriousness. " I have 
consulted my learned junior, and he agrees with me 
that the house that Jack built is not set out on the 
plans, and that the house referred to by the learned 
judge is in the nature of a literary allusion." 

Lord Esher laughed loud and long, and Bowen's 
smile broadened even more benignantly. The appeal 
was lost, and we went to the House of Lords with 
no success. Lord Hannen shook his head at me 
sympathetically, saying, " Of two evils, I had 
rather have a judge dead against me than strongly in 
my favour." 

Lord Justice Vaughan Williams, who is now a 
pillar of the Court of Appeal, used to come on circuit 
a great deal. He began as a Commissioner, and we 

131 K2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

stood greatly in awe of him, for he was a very learned 
lawyer, and rather insisted on things being done in 
legal decency and order. Some of the business 
short cuts of the Northern Circuit he did not 
appreciate. 

I remember winning an important bankruptcy 
case before Judge Heywood in Manchester. On 
appeal we came before Vaughan Williams and 
R. S. Wright, JJ. The other side had Sir Robert 
Finlay, Q.C., and Yate Lee, afterwards the Stockport 
judge, a great bankruptcy expert. Sir Horace 
Davey, Q.C., was to lead me. The case came on in 
the morning, and Sir Horace Davey was down at 
the House of Lords. Finlay, seeing his advantage, 
opened the case in twenty minutes as an obvious 
mistake in the court below, and Yate Lee said 
nothing. I was called on to hold the fort against a 
hostile court until reinforcements in the shape of 
Sir Horace Davey arrived. I had several cases to 
quote, but the judges would not have them at any 
price, and Vaughan Williams kept putting wonderful 
legal conundrums to me, which I tried to answer or 
evade as seemed the safer course at the moment. 

When Davey came in about half-past three, I 
think I had won Wright over to see there was some- 
thing in the points I had raised. Davey told me to 
sit down, and he started at once. In his thinnest, 
most arid, and contemptuous tones he explained to 
the judges that it really did not matter which way 
they decided, because the case would have to go to 
the Court of Appeal. Still, it was a more convenient 

132 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

thing that their lordships should decide rightly, or, 
in other words for him, in accordance with the 
authorities. 

It is a great and rare gift to be able to talk like that 
to High Court judges, but I felt we were reeking 
trouble. Vaughan Williams listened for a while, 
then looked sternly at Davey, and began very 
quietly : 

" Sir Horace, I have put a proposition to your 
learned junior which he is utterly unable to answer, 
and it is this " 

The proposition was put. 

Davey heard him with theatrical impatience and 
weariness, and replied : 

" My lord, I can understand my learned junior not 
replying to your lordship's proposition. Your lord- 
ship's proposition has nothing whatever to do with 
this case. As I was saying when your lordship 
interrupted me," &c. 

Of course we lost that appeal. The two judges 
laughed Judge Heywood's decision out of court, and 
a few weeks afterwards the Court of Appeal restored 
Judge Heywood's decision, with appropriate aston- 
ishment at the reasoning of the Divisional Court. 
Such is the glorious uncertainty of the law. 

Mr. Justice Hawkins was often on circuit in the 
earlier days. In the Crown Court he was painstaking, 
but in the Civil Court anything like figures or business 
details he found irksome. In one business case, 
counsel began discussing the question of the fall of 
i-i6d. in the price of yarn, when Hawkins indig- 

133 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

nantly interrupted him by asking whether the time 
of her Majesty's judges was to be spent in dealing 
with fractions of the smallest coin of the realm. 
Finding that in the result it came to a goodly sum, 
he referred the case, and spent the rest of the day 
elucidating a slander action, which resulted in a 
verdict for another fraction of a penny. 

Mr. Justice Cave very often visited the Northern 
Circuit. He was a stout, heavy, round-faced 
man, spoke with a nasal twang, and occasionally 
slept on the bench, but in spite of his pecu- 
liarities he was a straightforward, useful lawyer, 
and a not unkindly judge. He treated the junior 
Bar with good-humoured toleration, but I cannot 
say he suffered them gladly. Louis Aitken, who was 
the most scrupulous prosecutor on circuit, was one 
day prosecuting a thief before Cave at Lancaster, 
and finding that a sta ement of a policeman on the 
depositions was made in the absence of the prisoner, 
and therefore not evidence, properly and carefully 
omitted it. Cave, who was following the deposi- 
tions with his thumb and a blue pencil, pulled him 
up: 

" Ow now. Ow now, Mr. Aitken," he said, in his 
snarling voice. " This won't do, you know. You're 
garbling the evidence. That's what you're doing, 
garbling the evidence." 

Aitken was too stunned to say anything, and Cave 
took the policeman through the whole statement. 
When he had finished, he snapped out : " Any other 
questions, Mr. Aitken ? " 

134 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

" Only this, my lord/' said Aitken, who had 
recovered his equanimity. " Was the prisoner 
present during that conversation ? " 

" No," repUed the officer. 

" Ow," grumbled Cave, as he took his blue pencil 
and scored it out of his notes. " Remember, 
gentlemen of the jury, to forget all that. It's not 
evidence. Go on, Mr. Aitken." 

A few days after Aitken was dining with the 
judges, and Cave nodded across the table to him and 
said, " Lucky we spotted that evidence point at 
Lancaster, Mr. Aitken." 

I remember, too, in a small libel case the perfect 
sang-froid with which he transferred the blame of 
his proceedings on to the shoulders of Lancaster 
Woodburne, one of our most serious juniors who had 
something of the south country style. On a hot 
summer afternoon Woodburne had opened a very 
unimportant case in a highly impassioned speech, and 
when he had finished was horrified to find that Cave 
really was fast asleep. We had often seen him make 
the attempt, but this was the full offence. The 
weather and the luncheon hour were accessories 
before the fact. 

" What on earth shall I do ? " he muttered to me. 
I suggested he should call a witness, but Woodburne 
objected that the judge would not hear his evidence. 
As I was on the other side this did not seem to me 
to be very material. The judge's clerk was out of 
court, the Associate, well knowing the state of 
affairs, was busily writing below the bench with 

135 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

his eyes glued on to his papers. The jury, indeed, 
were smiling broadly. There was no doubt that 
it was a painful moment for Lancaster Woodburne. 
Suddenly a pile of books near my elbow upset on 
the floor. Cave opened his eyes and shouted angrily 
at my opponent : 

" Now then, Mr. Woodburne, why are you wasting 
the time of the Court ? Are you going to call a 
iri t ness, or am I to sit here all day doing nothing ? " 

How different again in manner and manhood was 
Mr. Justice A. L. Smith. We were all glad to hear 
that he was coming the circuit. "A. L.," as he was 
Affectionately called, had a strong, breezy business 
manner of doing his work that suited Manchester 
admirably. 

Sir Charles Russell once said to a new County Court 
judge, " Better to be strong and wrong than weak 
and right." It is a counsel of perfection to all 
judges of first instance. "A. L." understood the 
idea and acted upon it, and went one better by being 
seldom wrong. The main reason of his popularity and 
success as a judge was that he knew his own mind 
and was always ready to take responsibility promptly. 

One of my earliest recollections of " A. L." was in 
1887, when a man named Thomas Leatherbarrow 
was put in the dock and charged with the murder of a 
woman. The prisoner had been very violent in the 
police court, and the chief witness against him was 
another woman he had tried to kill. He came into 
the dock, a powerful giant, surrounded by three or 
four warders. He lurched forward to the rails and 

136 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

gazed wildly round the court like a savage animal 
looking for prey. 

Mr. Shut tie worth, the Clerk of Assize, read the 
indictment. 

" Guilty," growled the prisoner. 

" Do you understand what you are pleading guilty 
to ? " asked Mr. Shuttleworth. 

" Yes, I understand." 

" It means killing intentionally." 

" Yes," said the man with a burst of passion, " and 
I would have killed the other, too, if I could have 
got at her." 

" Have you anything to say ? " asked the Clerk of 
Assize. 

" Not a word," answered the prisoner carelessly. 

"A. L.," who had been thoughtfully watching 
the scene, assumed the black cap and passed sentence 
without comment. 

The prisoner nodded to him, picked up his cloth 
cap from a chair, and said, " Thank you, sir." 

"A. L." and the prisoner were perhaps the only 
two men who at the moment were clear and con- 
tented that the right thing had been done. 

But it was in the County Courts that one learned 
one's first lessons, and as more and more those 
courts are becoming the elementary schools of advo- 
cacy it becomes increasingly important that the 
judges who preside should have had some sound 
experience in the business themselves. We young- 
sters in Manchester were greatly to be congratulated 
on the presence of Judge Russell, the learned author 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

of a well-known treatise on Mercantile Law, who 
presided in the Manchester County Court. Russell 
sifted out his advocates very rapidly. At first when 
you knew little or nothing about it he did the case 
more or less for you. If he found you had any 
initiative capacity at all he allowed you to flutter 
your wings on your own. But if you tried to soar to 
absurd heights he non-suited you on the wing, as it 
were, to prevent more serious accidents in the course 
of your aviation ; indeed, he was if anything too fond 
of the non-suit, regarding it as a very present help 
in time of trouble. But though somewhat strict in 
technical matters, he was a good lawyer and a 
useful judge for a junior to practise before. If 
you could do your work to his satisfaction you need 
not fear making your bow in the High Court. He 
was an autocrat, but his autocracy was beneficial 
to business and justice. Anything like trickiness 
or ill-faith was abhorrent to him. On one occasion 
a very learned but rather artful counsel read a 
correspondence to him and omitted a damaging 
letter, hoping, no doubt, to deal with it later on. 
When the letter came out Russell looked very black. 

" Is that letter in your bundle of correspondence, 
Mr. X. ? " he asked. 

" Yes, your Honour and I was going " 

" Were going " repeated Russell sarcastically. 

" Judgment for defendant." 

It is wonderful how easily a good or bad reputation 
is made, and how careful the young advocate should 
be to keep his shield unspotted. I remember 

138 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

having a very bad class of insurance claim which 
was tried before Lord Coleridge. Some Blackburn 
people had insured an old gentleman, described as 
an egg merchant, who died very shortly afterwards. 
It appeared that the deceased's employment in recent 
years had been leaning against the door of a public- 
house and falling in when it opened. He had not 
merchanted any eggs since 1862. These things and 
the rascality of the whole proceeding, which was 
little short of a conspiracy to defraud, became so 
apparent as the case went on that at last I said 
I could not believe in the truth of my evidence, 
and refusing to call any more witnesses told Lord 
Coleridge my reasons, and retired from the case. 

Lord Coleridge smiled somewhat sarcastically, 
as I thought, saying, " A very candid expression of 
opinion about your clients, Mr. Parry, and I have no 
doubt the jury will agree with you." 

A few weeks later I was supporting a counter- 
claim in a weary, complicated case at Liverpool, the 
last in the list before Coleridge, without a jury. 
I felt sure that if he would adjourn to the next day 
I could make him see there was something in it. 
Addison, who was for the other side, ridiculed it, 
and I quite thought Coleridge would cut it short 
and run up to town. About 6 o'clock, however, 
Coleridge said, " I haven't the least idea what Mr. 
Parry's counterclaim is about, and you think it is 
all nonsense, Mr. Addison ; but I am sure he believes 
in it, and, as I know he wouldn't continue a case 
unnecessarily, I shall adjourn." We had the best 

139 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

part of next day at the details, and my client got a 
substantial verdict. 

Judge Hughes, when he was appointed, was 
expected to do wonderful things, and so, in truth, 
he did, but the authorship of " Tom Brown's 
Schooldays " was not a particularly good apprentice- 
ship for the rough and tumble of the County Court, 
and his short cuts to ideal justice were seldom 
successful. One of his earliest exploits, when asked 
to decide who had won a race and was entitled to 
the prize, was to order it to be run again, with him- 
self as referee ! Apart from the judgment being 
without legal sanction, the point at issue was not 
who could win, but who had won the race. On 
another occasion, during the trial of the disputed 
ownership of a dog, the animal came into court, 
and the learned judge had him up on the bench. 
He then ordered the defendant to go to the other 
side of the court and call the dog. This the defen- 
dant did, and the dog came to him. Immediately 
judgment was given for the defendant, but the 
plaintiff complained that he had not been allowed a 
similar experiment, which very likely would have 
resulted in a similar way. 

Chancery law was supposed to be a speciality with 
Judge Hughes, but I doubt if he had any real grip of 
any kind of legal principles. For instance, Byrne 
and I had a case before him in which a lady claimed 
specific performance of an agreement. It was a 
home-made agreement about the transfer of furniture, 
and it contained, among other things, a promise to 

140 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

marry. Judge Hughes in his kind-hearted, impulsive 
way espoused the lady's cause most warmly. " Why 
did my client refuse to marry the lady ? It was 
abominable conduct." For the defendant I tried to 
urge legal difficulties about decreeing specific per- 
formance to marry, but Judge Hughes only shook his 
head indignantly and kept muttering to himself, 
" I shall see that agreement carried out every line 
of it ! Every line of it ! " 

During the adjournment I chaffed Byrne about 
his agreement of course, he had not drawn it 
and asked him how the judge was going to carry 
out his order to compel my client to marry. 
Both our clients were very obstinate, but in the 
end Byrne and I made a full and fair settlement 
of all matters in dispute, though I shall always 
believe that my client was the more easy to deal with, 
because he believed that Judge Hughes intended to 
have him locked up, and only released when he 
consented to go quietly to the altar. When we 
returned into court and announced the settlement 
the learned judge was very vexed with Byrne, and 
waved us away, saying, " I wasn't frightened at 
Mr. Parry's law, and you needn't have been. I'd 
have had that agreement carried out every line of 
it ! Every line of it ! " 

As a Druid under an oak tree or on some island far 
from the Court of Appeal, Judge Hughes would have 
administered his own equity to perfection, and the 
suitors would have had an honest, righteous and 
sport :ng tribunal. But the administering of laws 

141 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

made by others was altogether beyond his imagina- 
tion. He was stone deaf to common law, and his 
equity dated back to a period before the discovery of 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

Coventry, the judge of the Blackpool Circuit, was 
a different type of man altogether. Silent, reserved, 
and patient, he listened at too great length to both 
advocacy and evidence, but his decision when it 
came was sound in judgment and of few words. 
Charles Costeker, of Darwen, who loved a sporting 
litigation, once instructed me to defend a most 
unusual case before Coventry in the Blackburn 
County Court. The defendants were the vicar and 
churchwardens of a Darwen church. It appeared 
the plaintiff had taken a dislike to hearing the curate 
preach, and used to walk out in order to avoid doing 
so. This insult to the curate the churchwardens 
resolved to avenge, and one Sunday morning, when 
the plaintiff tried to leave the church as usual, they 
locked the door and sat near it and prevented him 
going out. He, therefore, sued them for damages for 
false imprisonment. The vicar knew nothing about 
it, but as far as the churchwardens were concerned, 
there was really no answer, though I discovered a 
canon of the Church that makes it one's duty to stay 
and diligently hear the sermon. Coventry, however, 
was not having anything to do with such an obscure 
affair as canon law, and the common law was clearly 
against us. I am afraid the judge, who was of 
Quaker origin, and some of the advocates were 
woefully at sea over the details of the Church service, 

142 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

and an old Lancashire verger amused us greatly with 
one of his replies to Coventry. He was asked 
when he first noticed the plaintiff come into the 
church. 

" It was during Venaite ! " he replied. 

" How long after the service began ? " asked 
Coventry. 

" It was during Venaite/' he replied. 

" I don't want to know anything about the 
Venite," said Coventry, who hadn't an idea of its 
liturgical position. " What I want to know is was 
it ten minutes after the service began, or when ? " 

" It was during Venaite." 

" I don't understand what you mean by that," 
said Coventry, putting down his pen in despair. 
The verger thought the word Venite was puzzling 
the learned judge, and with great friendliness and a 
pleased smile of superiority turned round and said to 
him, "I'll tell yer about Venaite. It's like what you 
an' me if we were talking to ourselves 'ud say : ' O 
coom, let's sing to the Loord.' ' 

Crompton Hutton, a very learned man of a curious, 
cantankerous character, held sway over the Bolton 
and Bury district. He had had a large practice in 
London as a junior, and though his methods were 
irregular they did not lack common sense. He never 
wore robes, and I was told it was an offence to 
appear in his court in robes. The first time I went 
before him was at Bury, where he sat in a club-room 
adjoining the court. I was very frightened, and he 
glared at me in a way that did not make me less 

143 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

nervous. I and the solicitor against me, Mr. Ander- 
ton, sat on each side of him at a long table with the 
fire opposite the judge. I found out afterwards that 
if you could get one of your opponent's witnesses to 
stand between Crompton Hutton and the fire he was 
dismissed the room, and his evidence was never 
heard. I did not know these and other rules of the 
court then. The judge pointed to a seat, and I sat 
down. 

" What's your name ? " he asked. 

" Parry," I replied. 

" What does he say his name is, Mr. Anderton ? " 
he asked my opponent, turning his back on me. 

" Mr. Parry," replied Anderton. 

" H'm. How do you spell it. I never heard such 
a name," he grumbled. 

This made me very angry, and I retorted, in much 
the same tone : "Of course you've heard it con- 
stantly. I've seen your name in the law reports with 
my father's, Serjeant Parry, many a time." 

Crompton Hutton rose in his chair and spread out 
his arms as though he was going to hug me. 

" What, are you a son of the dear old Serjeant ? 
Really, now. And what are you doing in these 
God-forsaken parts ? Sit down. Delighted." And 
he wrung me by the hand in the most friendly 
fashion. 

The case was about a milk float and a lurry. I 
was for the lurry, and we won, mainly, as far as I 
remember, because an imaginative office boy of 
Anderton's had drawn his client's milk float galloping 

144 



JUDGES OF YESTERDAY 

up the road on the wrong side of the way with the 
driver waving his whip, and Crompton Hutton 
regarded it as a conclusive admission of facts. 

Anderton was a big, heavy, red-faced man of the 
elder Weller type, and quite as kind-hearted and 
straightforward. As we walked across to the 
Derby Arms for some lunch when the case was 
over : 

" I tell you what it is," he said to me, " you'll do 
very well with Grumpy, but you'll have to do what 
he tells you." 

" About what ? " I asked. 

" About wearing that toggery. He won't stand 
it." 

However, he had to stand it, and, fair play to 
him, though he used to tease me about it, we never 
quarrelled over it. I went before him often, and 
much pleased him by persuading the Divisional 
Court to uphold him on appeal in a building case. 

I became quite a favourite of his, and he would 
always take a case of mine first when he could. I 
remember once two Chancery men with long affi- 
davits and witnesses to cross-examine were ahead of 
me, and Crompton Hutton as soon as they were 
seated turned round to the defendant's counsel and 
said, " Call your client." 

" Call my client ? " said the astonished advocate. 
" I want to cross-examine the plaintiff's witnesses 
first." 

" I know you do," said the judge with a sneer, 
" but we don't waste time that way here. You will 

J.s. 145 L 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

be asking for further consideration next, but you 
won't get it here." 

" But I'm entitled to " 

" Certainly, but not at other people's expense. 
Now, Mr. Parry." 

And the Chancery protests were unavailing. I 
got heard and sent away. 

I just caught the beginning of the Chancery case. 
The defendant's counsel was again asked to put the 
defendant in the box, and refused. 

" And I'll tell you why," said Crompton Hutton. 

' I've read those affidavits, and unless the defendant 

swears the necessary additional facts you've no case, 

and if he swears the necessary additional facts I'll 

commit him for trial for perjury. That's all ! " 

There was a lot of common sense about Crompton 
Hutton. 



146 



CHAPTER IX 

FIRST BRIEFS 

At last the golden orientall gate 

Of greatest heaven gan to open fayre. 

SPENSER : " Faerie Queen." 

I SUPPOSE in early days the " stranger " must have 
been a sadly persecuted individual, else why should 
there be so many texts persuasively commending 
him to the care of the righteous. Even now there 
are some communities and clubs where to be a 
" stranger " is to be set apart and treated like a 
leper. Those out-houses in which guests are housed 
in some of the pre-historic London clubs are examples 
of what I mean. In earlier cannibal times no doubt 
the " stranger " was merely a welcome addition to 
the larder, but even then there seem to have been 
ceremonies and rites in the fattening and final 
presentation of the guest which students of folk-lore 
would regard as the early manifestations of hospital 
lity. However that may be, there is no doubt that 
in the treatment of the stranger within the gates 
the north country is farther removed from bar- 
barism than the south. In London, for instance, 
every man is a stranger. I have met fellow-country- 
men from the Colonies who found the welcome 
secured by introductions to London to be an entirely 

147 L2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

formal and cold-blooded affair compared with that 
extended to them by a similar class in the north. 
Not only in London, but taking its anti-social note 
from London, the surrounding south is chilly and 
aloof towards its fellow-man, especially if the fellow- 
man talks broadly with an open accent, and has not 
attained that weary, blurred, mincing tongue which 
serves the southerner in lieu of speech. It is not so 
much that in these sunny latitudes we have forgotten 
our duty to our neighbour, but rather that we have 
never had any neighbours, that we have made it a 
religion not to have neighbours, and continue to live 
for years and years in our semi-detached surburban 
villas without exchanging a word with the man next 
door, whose ties and trousers do daily offence to such 
creeds as we still possess. Whereas the gospel seems 
to have taught the uncultivated men and women 
who live on those wild stretches of railway beyond 
Rugby and Crewe that everyone is a neighbour, and 
must be treated according to the text in that case 
made and provided. 

I have already spoken of the kindness of my first 
friends in Manchester, from which sprang many 
other pleasant friendships. No end of folk seemed 
to take an interest in our small household. I think 
some came to look at us out of curiosity. The 
impertinence and absurdity of an unfledged stranger 
settling down among them in this way seemed to 
amuse them. I remember taking in to dinner the 
wife of an eminent professor who made it her duty 
to know the inner household affairs of all those 

148 



FIRST BRIEFS 

tenements and hereditaments situated or adjacent to 
the Oxford Road, between Nelson Street in the north 
and the White Lion in the south. 

Turning to me as the cloth was removed, she said 
in a tone half of entreaty, half of command, " Tell 
me, Mr. Parry I have heard so many different 
accounts and I really must know what did you 
marry on ? " 

I had the presence of mind to answer, " Nothing, 
madam, absolutely nothing ! " 

The romance of it touched her tender heart, dear 
soul, and she was for ever asking us to dinner under 
the firm belief that we were starving. 

Certainly no strangers ever had a kinder reception 
than we had in the north, and it seemed to make 
the months of waiting for those first briefs pass 
very smoothly and pleasantly. And what made 
life more joyous than anything I had experienced 
was the professional comradeship of those among 
whom one's work had to be done. There were still 
many circuit wanderers domiciled in London who 
followed her Majesty's judges when they went 
their rounds, but there were also a large number 
of local barristers who dominated the Quarter 
Sessions and did the work in the County Courts. 
All those were, of course, members of the Northern 
Circuit, and in the absence of the assizes, upheld 
in their daily struggles the spirit of sympathy 
and good-fellowship for which the Northern Circuit 
is justly famous. Even the Chancery men who 
made vast fortunes in the Palatine Court joined 

149 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

the circuit, and became less sterilised and better 
humanised under the fragrant influences of Bar mess. 
How curious it is that the common law mind 
always thinks of a Chancery man with pity mingled 
with a certain distaste. Pity which is sworn servant 
unto love springs from our admiration of the 
Chancery man as a human person ; the distaste is 
engendered spontaneously, and arises, I fancy, out 
of and in the course of his occupation. He wears 
to all appearances a similar gown, his wig is of the 
same iron grey, he quotes from somewhat fatter and 
duller books perhaps, but they are written in much 
the same joyless jargon I never met a jolly, breezy, 
merry, law book and yet there is something in the 
flavour of him that you find in professors and school- 
masters, the drier sort of vicars and policemen. Is 
this shrinking from the Chancery man some prejudice 
atavistically reproduced from the days of " Jarndyce 
v. Jarndyce," or a manifestation of eugenic instinct ? 
It is difficult to say, but I know that it is not a merely 
personal prepossession. The old court-keeper at 
Strangeways acknowledged to the feeling, and he saw 
more of the Chancery men than he did of the common 
law men, for the Palatine Court he had always with 
him. I asked him once to explain to me the reason 
of it, but it was beyond his powers of analysis. He 
had the same instinct about Chancery men that was 
inspired in the mind of Tom Brown by the late 
Dr. Fell, but the reason why he could not tell. I 
discovered this quite accidentally and it became a 
bond of union between us. It happened in this way. 

150 



FIRST BRIEFS 

A small light and air case had like some seedling 
weed got blown into the assize list from across the 
corridor where the Palatine Court droned along, and 
with it came Astbury. Yes, Astbury even Astbury 
was once a junior and sat in the back row. I was 
against him. I think it was the fault of Stephen, 
J., who did not understand plans, or the superior 
cunning of Astbury, who built up a model of the 
buildings with volumes of "Barnewall and Alderson," 
and by the kindergarten methods of Froebel captured 
the judgment of the Court ; or maybe, as I told my 
client afterwards, we never had a leg to stand upon, 
and Astbury had the right end of the stick he was 
often attached to that end. Be all that as it may, 
Chancery defeated Common law utterly and with 
costs. 

I can see our good janitor's gloomy face as he 
leaned over the carved end of the seats and gazed 
wearily at us. We were the last non-jury of the 
assizes, and he was waiting with the charwomen 
in ambush to do the washing up. " Eh ! Mr. 
Parry/' he said with a deep sigh, almost a groan, 
" and to think of you being beat and by a Chancery 
man." It seemed a thing hard to bear at the time 
and likely to be fraught with ruin, but it was for- 
gotten, and now I recall it more as a story of mis- 
fortune than disgrace. For it is easier to remember 
the ill turns of fortune's wheel than the lucky 
ones. How meanly we bluster over memories of 
ill-luck, and never give a thought to the briefs that 
leaped the bunkers and the points of law that 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

holed out from the edge of the green. The other 
fellow's good fortune we remember sneeringly well, 
but our own well, it is a common failing, and 
certainly I am not more free from it than another. 
But I suppose every one who has had any fortune 
at all at the Bar could tell some amusing stories of 
accidents that have helped him to success. Certainly 
in my short round I only played nine holes, as it 
were, for within ten years of my call I was a judge 
I cannot grumble at my luck, and some of the early 
chances which brought me briefs were as unexpected 
as they were entertaining. 

It must have been within a year of my coming to 
Manchester that I was met by a glad surprise when 
I went down to the Assize Courts to my usual 
occupation of sitting in the back row and listening 
to others do cases in a manner that made me feel 
really sorry for them, their clients and myself. 
Wandering along the corridor in a weary and some- 
what melancholy way, feeling that I had no real 
part in this hustling crowd of excited litigants and 
lawyers that the first day of assizes brings together, 
I was suddenly handed a brief. If it had been a 
writ or a County Court summons or but it was a 
brief. And there I was charged with the respon- 
sibility of defending a tradesman who, with his 
servant girl, was indicted for conspiracy to conceal 
the birth of the latter's child. The papers were 
marked " 15 and i. With you Mr. Addison, Q.C." 
I had never heard of the solicitor, and he took 
occasion to let me know that he had never heard of 

152 



FIRST BRIEFS 

me, and had had some trouble to find anyone who 
had. However, there was the brief, a very fine speci- 
men of that rara avis, and I promenaded with it 
under my arm or left it lying about in prominent 
places in hopes that it would act as a decoy. 
Towards the end of the sittings Addison defended 
the prisoner with great success I had really nothing 
to do but look on and both he and McKeand, 
who defended the girl, obtained acquittals. The 
case created some sensation in the local town 
where the prisoners came from, and I heard that the 
prisoners and their counsel were burnt in eifigy on 
the evening of the trial. 

I never learnt the solution of that mysterious 
brief until years afterwards. What had happened 
was this. I had been defending some prisoners for 
McKeand in the second court at Salford Sessions, 
one being the case of a man charged with assault on 
a woman, in which, to my own and other people's 
surprise, there was an acquittal. The prisoner in the 
assize case was on the jury in that case, and when 
his own turn came, having seen no other counsel 
defending prisoners than Parry, he came to the con- 
clusion that Parry was essential to his liberty. 
Nothing that his solicitor could do could alter his 
determination, so the sensible solicitor obeyed his 
client's instructions and with some difficulty dis- 
covered Parry, and then in order that his client 
might have a really good run for his money he gave 
Addison a leading brief. 

One solicitor came to me for elaborate opinions 

153 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

on difficult points of law, and always marked the 
brief Dr. Parry. I found out that in a local list of 
the Bar, my name being next Pankhurst's at the 
bottom of the page, the printer had repeated the 
Dr. really it is quite as good a way of obtaining 
a degree as any other but my practice as a doctor 
of law ended after six months when a new and 
correct list was printed. 

I had a visit once from a solicitor from Burnley 
with his client, a bookmaker. They had some talk 
outside with my clerk and then came in. The 
bookmaker nodded and said, " That's him," and 
appeared to be very satisfied. His great anxiety 
about his case, which was a summons for keeping a 
betting house, is best expressed in his own instruc- 
tions, which he repeated to me several times. " I 
ain't partickler what I pays, but I want yer ter see 
that at the end of the case there ain't no going 
down stairs." 

The county magistrates let him off with a fine of 
80. He was a well-known and not unrespected 
character, and perhaps had met some of the justices 
in another place. He seemed to think the magis- 
trates pocketed the money, for he took it very 
philosophically, and said as he crumpled up the 
receipt for the fine : " After all, it's quite natural 
they should try and get a bit of their own back 
to-day, but I'll have my turn presently." 

I learned afterwards that the bookmaker was an 
admirer of my style of advocacy. His solicitor, a 
broad Lancashire man, told me the story of it. 

154 



FIRST BRIEFS 

" He comes to me and says ' I want that two-year- 
old I sees at Bury County Court last week/ What's 
his name ? I asked. ' Hanged if I know/ says he, 
' but he's a long, lean, lanky beggar, and he puts one 
foot on the desk and just talks to the judge like as 
if he was his feyther/ With that I came to Man- 
chester, and I was talking to one of Cobbett's 
clerks and I repeats the description, and before 
the words were out of my mouth he says ' Parry ! * 
So we comes round to your chambers, and sure 
enough he was right." 

Had one the pencil of Sir Thomas Overbury, how 
pleasant it would be to draw the outline portraits 
of the worthy characters of my comrades of the 
Northern Circuit. Looking back on my short 
sojourn among them, two men seem to stand out as 
types of the genius of the circuit, Gully and Charley 
McKeand. Both were ideally honest and full of 
consideration for their opponents, and it is in these 
qualities that I think the Northern Circuit is pre- 
eminent. 

But though they shared these good attributes they 
had little else in common. Charley McKeand was 
as rough and blustering in his advocacy as Gully was 
smooth and polished. Gully wounded his victims with 
a rapier, McKeand with a bludgeon. All advocacy 
ought to be straightforward, and the bulk of it is. 
Certainly, the standard of honesty and open dealing 
on the Northern Circuit is a very high one. But Gully 
and McKeand were the Quixotes of the Bar, and 
when a junior like myself had to appear against 

155 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

either of them he realised what a refreshing thing 
it is in advocacy to be concerned in a case where, 
however powerful is the frontal attack, there are to 
be no ambushes or ambuscades. 

Charley McKeand had not anything of the 
appearance of a leader of the Bar, yet he deve- 
loped rapidly into a very clever advocate, and 
would have done big things but for his untimely 
death. The first impression of him was of a big, 
jolly, careless Englishman, rather stout and easy- 
going, fond of sport and sporting companions. But 
give him a brief, and his attitude towards life 
changed. He was never a learned lawyer, but he 
knew the law of evidence well, and would get some 
junior to " devil " the legal circumstances of any 
case that had any law in it, and quickly picked up 
all that was necessary to his purpose. He began 
his advocate's career in the right way, by defending 
prisoners from the dock. If, with a copy of the 
depositions in front of you and an oft-convicted 
thief in the dock behind you, the verdict is " Not 
guilty/' you may know that you are qualifying for 
an advocate. Charley McKeand did it not once, 
but again and again. There was no apparent 
art in his style, but he thundered out the most 
absurd suggestions of a hopeless defence with an 
energy and enthusiasm that often inspired a belief 
in them in the minds of an inexperienced jury. He 
soon became the fashion, and no criminal wou'd 
be without him if he could possibly afford his 
services. 

156 



FIRST BRIEFS 

He was one of the most popular figures in Man- 
chester, and the mob, who always take the side of the 
unfortunate nobleman in the dock, called him in their 
good-natured adoration " The People's Charley." 
When he defended a cabman at the police court who 
had got into some trouble with the authorities over 
hackney coach bye-laws and defeated the police, 
the cabmen of St. Anne's Square cheered him as he 
drove his phaeton down to court with his bull-dog 
by his side, and held a mass meeting and sent a 
deputation to his chambers to present him with a 
handsome gold-mounted malacca. 

It was about this time that he was pressed to stand 
for municipal honours. Certainly no Nonconformist 
conscience could have stood a chance against " The 
People's Charley." He greatly enjoyed the first 
invitation he received. A few of the inner circle 
of the politicians of a certain ward came to visit 
and ask him to stand as a Conservative candidate at 
the next municipal election. 

" But I heard Mr. X. was going to stand," said 
McKeand, naming a very respectable citizen. 

" Nay, Mr. McKeand," said the spokesman, 
dwelling lovingly on three syllables of his name. 
" Nay, Mr. McKeand, we don't want Mr. X., we 
wants you. Mr. X. ain't anything to the likes o' 
us. You know our ward, Mr. McKeand. It's full 
of bookmakers and thieves and rat-catchers you 
knows the sort and they knows you and they'll 
vote for you like one man." 

However, McKeand had no ambition for a seat on 

157 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

the City Council and stuck to his work in court, of 
which he was really fond. 

His readiness and resource were extraordinary 
and he said and did the most startling things without 
offending the most straight-laced judicial persons. 
Hopwood was presiding in a third court at the 
assizes, trying some of the minor prisoners. An old 
woman indicted for larceny had given McKeand a 
dock defence, and he rushed in at the last moment 
to make a speech on her behalf. It was clear he had 
not had time to study the depositions, but a few 
words from Ernest Jordan, who was devilling the 
case, put him on the right line, and he was soon in 
the middle of an eloquent harangue. Coming to the 
end of it he exclaimed, " And what, gentlemen, did 
the poor woman say when the magistrate's clerk 
asked her for her defence. I will read you her very 
words, and I think you will agree with me that they 
bear the stamp of conscious innocence." Ernest 
Jordan tried to stem the torrent of his eloquence 
here, feeling sure he was remembering another set of 
depositions, but it was no use. McKeand seized the 
papers and turned them rapidly over. " Let me 
read you* her exact words. Ha ! Here we are. Oh ! 
H'm!" He faltered a little when he saw them. 
" Well, -gentlemen, this uneducated woma>n does not 
put it as you or I would put it, but I said I would 
read her words, and I will. What she says is : ' How 

the hell could I have the boots when he 

was wearing them ? ' And, gentlemen," continued 
McKeand in a concluding burst of eloquence, 

158 



FIRST BRIEFS 

" I ask you, with some confidence, how the hell 
could she ? " 

Charley McKeand must have been seriously 
thinking of taking silk when the end came, and a 
terrible end it was both to himself and his friends. 
After the summer vacation I went round to his 
house to see him, and found him on the eve of a visit 
to London to see Sir Frederick Treves. 

The Manchester doctors had told him that he was 
suffering from cancer, and that they feared it was 
hopeless to operate. He was very calm about it, and 
did not expect any better verdict, but he thought it 
satisfactory to take another opinion. The opinion 
went against him, but he returned to his work, and 
for three months, though in great pain and under 
sentence of lingering death, continued his work with 
cheerfulness and energy. It was a noble example to 
those of us who fret over small troubles, and I do not 
think it was lost on any who witnessed it. In 
December he became too ill to continue work, and 
gave up his chambers. I last saw him at Brighton. 
We dined together, and I sat telling him old circuit 
stories and recalling cases we had fought together 
until late into the night. He came to the door to 
see me off, and I said I would look him up at home 
when he returned. He shook his head, and said 
with his delightful smile, " Not a bit of it, Parry. 
We have had an excellent evening, and this is the 
time to say good-bye." 

He died a few weeks afterwards, having been 
spared long enough to see his only child. Until the 

159 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

tragedy happened I do not think any of us had fully 
understood what a force of quiet bravery there was 
in Charley McKeand. 

I suppose I ought to remember Gully as Lord 
Selby, but for the life of me I cannot. As Gully we 
loved and admired him, and as Gully he will always 
remain to those of us who are proud to have been his 
juniors. Undoubtedly he was one of the best and 
most inspiring leaders that a band of advocates 
could honour. 

There were those who said that Gully had had all 
the life hammered out of him by Charles Russell, 
but there was no truth in this at all. For years he 
had stood up against Russell in case after case, and 
it must be agreed that anyone who came in contact 
with that forceful genius had to stand a fair share of 
hammering. But Gully was chosen for the part 
because he was the fittest to enact it, and when 
Russell " went special " Gully naturally took his 
place as leader of the circuit, a position he held until 
he retired to a more honourable office. I was both 
with and against Gully in many cases. A barrister, 
like an actor or a sailor, is dependent for his happiness 
on his companions, and especially his superiors. 
Gully was peculiarly courteous and considerate to 
his juniors, Russell was often the reverse. The 
latter would turn round to a junior and, not getting 
the immediate answer he wanted, say, " What on 
earth are you doing ? " 

" Taking a note/' one unior replied with con- 
scious rectitude. 

160 



FIRST BRIEFS 

" Don't/' said Russell with an explosive inter- 
jection ; " attend to the case." 

It must not be thought that Russell was only rude 
to his juniors. Let us remember with pleasure that 
he was the advocate who, when asked by a Law Lord 
for some authority for a proposition, called out in his 
most rasping voice, " Usher ! Go into the library and 
bring me any elementary book on common law." 

But just as Russell's manner cannot be reproduced 
in print because it was unprintable, so the charm of 
Gully's presence eludes you in words that give an 
effect of weakness and softness which was not really 
his quality. 

I once heard a Lancaster juryman coming out of 
court say " I likes Mr. Gully, he speaks so gentleman- 
like." This word does not quite convey its meaning 
in the printed form, you want the burr of the North 
Country in its pronunciation and the affectionate tone 
in which it was uttered, and the smile of content that 
lighted up the speaker's face as he thought of Gully. 
One secret of Gully's success as an advocate was 
conscience. I doubt if any advocate is worth his 
salt without a highly developed conscience. With 
Gully it was not only there, but it worked auto- 
matically, and he never argued with it. He did 
the straight thing naturally. And Gully was like 
Charley McKeand, a great comrade. He had a high 
ideal of circuit life, as those who went the circuit 
under his leadership can testify. I think of him as 
a gentleman in the real old English sense of the word, 
such as Master Izaak Walton knew in the friend he 

J.s. 161 M 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

describes as " learned and humble, valiant and 
inoffensive, virtuous and communicable." 

I went into the corridors of the Strangeways Courts 
the other day, and ghost-like I paced round the 
haunts of my early days. Very few were the 
familiar faces. I have no doubt the old circuit is as 
full of laughter and good fellowship as ever it was, 
but to me it is a memory, and in the foreground of 
the memory stand the figures of two dear comrades, 
Gully and Charley McKeand. 



162 



CHAPTER X 

ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

Whether in the biography of a nation, or of a single person, 
it is alike impossible to trace it steadily through successive 
years. 

RUSKIN : " Praeterita." 

I SUPPOSE in a certain sense every brief or re- 
tainer or notice of motion or summons for directions 
is an alarum, or alarm, or call to arms ; and each 
appearance in Court is in the nature of an excursion. 
But I had in mind in choosing my title some of those 
occasions on which I was called away from the usual 
routine of my work to take up other affairs in some 
different part of the world. 

And casting my glances back to my early days at 
the Bar, I remember, as though it were a fact in 
another person's life, that I could never keep away 
from an election if there was one about, though I can 
be honestly thankful to-day that my young ambition 
to be one of the principals in such a contest was never 
granted to me. 

One of the most stirring elections I played a part 
in was in the autumn of 1886, when I went down to 
Bristol to help Mr. Joseph Weston, to whom I 
acted as a sort of political secretary during the 
three weeks preceding the election. I am not 

163 M 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

sure that I was not a corrupt practice or at least an 
illegal expense within the meaning of the Act, for 
no return was made about me in the election 
expenses. But I was really not a fighting unit, being 
only a personal intelligence department for Mr. 
Weston, and I sat in his drawing-room, which was 
papered with sketches and drawings of William 
Miiller, many of which are now in public galleries, 
and there I watched the progress of the game, made 
notes of speeches, wrote letters, held conferences 
with my chief, and in leisure moments studied the 
methods of one of the greatest water-colour painters 
of the English School. 

Sir Joseph Weston, as he afterwards became, was 
a well-known and popular citizen. Born in 1822, 
he had, with his father before him, been engaged in 
the hardware and iron trades. He was connected 
with big concerns in his own city and Birmingham, 
such as the Bristol Wagon Works and the Patent 
Nut and Bolt Company, and politically might be 
described as a sound but not an advanced Liberal. 
His life had been business not politics, and he had not 
given any great amount of thought to the questions 
of the hour. He had been Mayor of Bristol for four 
successive years, and always treated every class and 
creed of citizen with lavish hospitality. It was 
rumoured that he would have been member for the 
city before its division into districts, but for an 
untoward incident arising during his mayoralty, 
which, though merely prompted by his natural 
hospitality and kindness of heart, was misunderstood 

164 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

by those who had to consider its legal parliamentary 
bearings. Mr. Samuel Morley, who had been 
member since 1868, was desirous of retiring for 
reasons of health, and the local association inter- 
viewed two candidates. The first was an eminent 
counsel of the Western Circuit. He, with Glad- 
stone bag and the true faith in him, came down 
from London, gave the deputation a sound political 
oration at his hotel, and with incorruptible correct- 
ness bade them good evening. The deputation 
then walked across to the Town Hall, where they 
were received by Mr. Weston, who told them 
in a few words his short and simple creed. This 
over, he said with a sigh of relief : " Now, 
gentlemen, politics are done with, and I am 
once more the Mayor of the City, and as I have 
never allowed any deputation to go away from the 
Town Hall without entertainment, I can make no 
exception of yourselves." The doors were thrown 
open and they sat down to a princely supper. 

Sad to say, when this reached the ears of the 
eminent London counsel and his legal friends in high 
places in the party, their formal minds saw in the 
kindly Mayor's thoughtful hospitality the possibility 
of future trouble in Election Courts. The fact that 
the same evening or early next morning the 
association had unanimously selected Mr. Weston 
as their candidate, did not seem to weigh with 
them against his dangerous act of playing the good 
Samaritan to possible voters. A way out of the 
difficulty was found by persuading Mr. Samuel 

165 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Morley not to resign, and in 1885 Mr. Weston's chance 
came, when he was assigned the South Division of 
Bristol, rightly regarded from a Liberal point of 
view as the one doubtful proposition of the election. 
Mr. Weston was certainly one of the most gene- 
rous of men. There was nothing grudging or of 
necessity about his donations, he was in heart and 
aspect a cheerful giver. He had a special secretary 
to investigate cases of distress and keep the accounts 
of his subscriptions, and it was really a matter of 
sorrow to him that during the election he had to 
keep his hands out of his pockets and close his ears 
to local appeals for fear of committing some breach 
of election rules. He had always been in favour of 
Disestablishment, and though this was not really an 
important issue at this election, the drum ecclesias- 
tical was beaten through the streets of Bedminster, 
and a serious clerical campaign was entered upon 
against him. With priestly tact a sermon was 
preached against Mr. Weston in one of the churches 
which had been enriched by his gift. If I remem- 
ber right, the present had been the very pulpit from 
which the clerical election bomb was hurled. The 
incident created a good deal of stir. It is curious 
what small things influence the course of an election. 
That sermon, the output of sincere, weak-minded, 
unbusinesslike enthusiasm, preached probably to a 
regular Tory- voting congregation, where there was 
no possibility of gaining votes, became a valuable 
electioneering asset to Mr. Weston's friends. He 
himself got many letters from fellow-citizens opposed 

166 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

to him in politics regretting the affair, but I do not 
recall that he ever referred to it in public himself. 

And when I look back on those nights and days 
of anxious work, the crowded meetings, the weary 
conferences, the dull round of deputations, and then 
the final shoutings, booings, or applause of the result, 
followed by speeches of triumph or manly resigna- 
tion, I wonder there are men always forthcoming 
to face the cost and trouble of it. What reward 
did Weston get from it other than vanity and 
vexation of spirit ? But when we were in the thick 
of the thing on Wednesday, November 25, 1885, 
no thoughts of the triviality of the affair ever entered 
our minds. The eyes of Bristol were upon us and 
the eyes of the Empire were on Bristol, and we were 
all intoxicated by the unwonted limelight. Men, 
women and children, horses, donkeys and dogs wore 
red or blue favours, and one gallant Tory paraded the 
streets in a sky-blue suit, and to the delight of all 
parties had dyed his dog the same colour. It was 
after half-past twelve at night before the result was 
announced. We were waiting on the first floor of a 
little greengrocer's shop opposite the local police 
station. There had been many false alarms. A 
huge crowd surged beneath us, cheering and groaning 
other results. At length our figures flashed out in 
a transparency across the street : 

Weston . . . 4217 
Hill . 4121 



167 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

One half of Bedminster went mad with joy, the 
other half booed and groaned as though hope had 
departed from their lives. Mr. West on was whirled 
away in his brougham to make a round of his 
constituency and I went forth to see the fun, for 
Bristol on an election night had in those days 
something of the Eatanswill spirit left. There was 
window-breaking going forward in one of the main 
streets and a few police sallies, and later on, well 
after one o'clock, when I reached an open square, 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach or one of his friends was 
addressing a large and enthusiastic mob from the 
windows of the Royal Hotel. " Who's in for the 
South ? " shouted someone. " Weston," came the 
answer from hundreds of voices, and prolonged groans 
followed the announcement. There were but few 
police in the streets, and the mob was orderly enough 
and well content to shout over its solitary Conser- 
vative success, when a sound of counter-cheers 
approached from the south, and as it came nearer the 
cry went up " Weston ! Weston ! " He was boxed 
up in his neat single brougham. I could not see him 
from where I stood, but I could see the stalwarts of 
his party, a lot of sturdy fellows who had tied ropes 
to it, and were pushing and pulling it along or sitting 
on the roof and cheering as they rocked their way 
into the square. It was the brougham's last night 
out, but it was a glorious one. As it neared the 
Royal Hotel this delirious procession became a cause 
of offence to the rival crowd. As if with one move- 
ment, they turned on the advancing carriage, and it 

168 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

looked as if there would be a faction fight worthy of 

the Emerald Isle, in which Weston was bound to be 

injured. But a wonderful manoeuvre prevented it. 

From some ambush sprang to light about a hundred 

police. They made their way to their beloved 

Mayor, surrounding his carriage and sufficient men 

to pull it. This solid wedge of police drove itself 

through the crowd to the bottom of Clifton Hill, and 

there the carriage was sent on its way with a few 

police, and the main body suddenly turned across the 

street and blocked the crowd back. It was a smart 

piece of work, and the mob gave the police a most 

complimentary groan when they saw how they were 

outwitted. In this way, in November, 1885, 

Weston, M.P., came to his house in Clifton, full of 

the joy and glory of victory. But in the summer 

of 1886 it was entirely the other way, the cheers 

were for our opponents and the tears were ours. 

Then Mr. Weston received a knighthood from Mr. 

Gladstone for his services to his country, and his 

political career was at an end. 

But the alarum came to me from another part of 
the world altogether at the next general election. I 
was at Lancaster Sessions when a telegram called me 
to Aylesbury to act as agent for Mr. C. D. Hodgson, 
who had pluckily gone down to fight a Rothschild 
for Gladstone and Home Rule. We had only a 
fortnight to do it in but what a fortnight ! I 
travelled right up from Lancaster to Willesden, and 
across from there to Westbourne Park, catching the 
last train to Aylesbury, and found myself late at 

169 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

night in command of a big empty house with tables 
and chairs and pens and ink, and a fine band of 
voluntary workers. It was many nights before I got 
a sleep in bed. It was real campaigning. Every- 
thing had to be done in no time. It was a big 
straggling division without any railway, but we 
planned to have a meeting in every village and 
carried out our plans, pushing our forces over the 
Chilterns to the little village of Totternhoe, the rural 
silence of whose common was for the first time dis- 
turbed by political speech. Indeed, we were a 
thought too active. For our only hope of any 
success and that a slender one lay in the fact that 
at the last election feeling had run so high between 
the supporters of Liberal and Conservative that 
open fights had taken place, and the Conservatives 
had declared they would never vote for a Rothschild. 
If the Conservatives had held aloof it would have 
been an interesting fight. However, the Union had 
to be saved, our rebellion was taken seriously, a 
four-lined whip went out to all the blues, and they 
flocked to the ballot against us and we were routed. 

It was during this election that I first learned 
something of the iniquity of imprisonment for debt. 
I was told that in a certain village a tradesman could 
command some two hundred votes, and that it 
would be well to appoint him a chairman of a local 
committee. I went over to interview him. He was 
very shy, and seemed diffident about Home Rule and 
afraid of the Catholics, but after a lot of talk he said 
he would vote for Hodgson and use his influence in 

170 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

the village in our favour if he took the chair at our 
meeting. All this was arranged, but I could not 
imagine why such a miserable, mean, uneducated, 
narrow-minded little person should be a leader of 
enlightened thought, even in a Buckinghamshire 
village. I was asking one of our supporters in 
Aylesbury, a shrewd, keen man of business, about 
my little friend, and he opened my eyes as to the 
nature of his influence. 

" Oh, he's all right/' he said. " He's got the votes 
right enough. He's two hundred of them on his 
books." 

" On his books," I said in surprise, not under- 
standing what he meant. 

" Yes. He gives pretty wide credit. The whole 
village is on his books, and half of them are under 
judgment summonses. He don't put them in prison, 
of course, but they know he could do." 

I expressed my view about the iniquity of such 
proceedings, which I scarcely credited. 

" I don't see anything wrong in it," continued 
my friend. " It's checkmate to the parson. The 
parsons about here threaten a labourer with hell in 
the next world if he votes Liberal, and our friend 
threatens him with hell in this, if he votes Conser- 
vative, and then he votes as he likes. It seems to 
me reasonable enough." 

It is curious how far removed this neighbourhood 
was from London and the political world. The 
workers listened eagerly to speeches from wagons 
and in schoolrooms, but the questions discussed were 

171 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

evidently new to most of the hearers. Many strange 
questions were asked you, and curious ideas of the 
position of affairs put forward. One of the strangest 
politicians I ever met was an old farm labourer 
tramping towards Hughenden. I jumped out of my 
pony cart and walked with him up the hill. 

" Are you a voter in the Aylesbury Division ? " I 
asked. 

" Aye, that I be," he replied with a grin, in a 
chanting voice. 

" I hope you are going to vote for Mr. Hodgson." 
" Aye, I be going to vote for Mr. Hodgson right 
enough, fur he be Gladstone's man." 

"Right you are," I said, "he's Gladstone's 
man." 

" We know a bit about them politics down here," 
he continued, in a monotonous sing-song. " You 
see Disraeli he lived down Hughenden way. They 
made him Lord Beaconsfield, and he's buried over 
yon. We was very proud of him, we was." 

I began to think there was a blunder somewhere, 
and said : " But Hodgson is Gladstone's man, you 
know." 

" All right, I understand, I understand," he said, 
rather testily. " I told you we know all about them 
things here. When Disraeli was alive, why, him and 
Gladstone lived like brothers, didn't they ? And I 
say now one's dead, vote for t'other." 

It seemed useless to disturb the comfortable and 
convenient myth that the old gentleman had built 
round the only two names in the political world he 

172 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

had ever heard of. We were at the top of the hill, 
and our ways parted. I once more assured him that 
Hodgson was Gladstone's man, and bade him 
farewell. 

And I call to mind a very different excursion from 
these political ones, for I little thought when I went 
down in early life to the assizes at Norwich that I 
should ever have the honour of presiding in the 
wonderful old court there. It is certainly one of the 
least convenient for its purpose of any that I have 
ever seen. There are the most mysterious collection 
of pens and pulpits in its interior, which from the 
crow's nest in which the judge sits seem to have been 
designed specially to prevent anyone getting from 
one to the other when it is necessary to do so. It 
took twenty-five minutes to get a jury collected, 
seated in the right pen and duly sworn. To my 
Manchester mind this was a long pause in my day's 
work, but there is more time to the hour in Norfolk 
than in most places, and once you get there, there 
really is no hurry. The witness-box in that court is 
of very peculiar design. It is built like a sentry box. 
The witness enters it from behind ; a special verger 
or usher shuts him in, and he stays there until 
released. I watched a quaint comedy or rather 
farce in which a jovial horse-dealer of very ample 
proportions played the leading part. With great 
difficulty he was got into the witness-box and the 
door closed by a clever wrist movement of the usher. 
It is true some of him overlapped the bar in front, 
but the rest of him was actually in the box and the 

173 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

door closed. All would have gone well if counsel for 
the defence had not made him laugh when he must 
have expanded, and click ! bang ! the door flew open, 
and we had to wait until the irate usher slowly 
awakened, strolled down the corridor, and got him 
pressed in again and shut the door. This went on 
two or three times, to the great discontent of the 
usher, who at last set his back to the door and kept 
the fat horse-dealer in by sheer force. What would 
have happened if the back door of the box had been 
left open I do not know, but I think it might have 
hurt the usher's feelings to suggest it, so I kept 
silence. 

I was sitting there for my brother, Judge Addi- 
son, K.C., who had recently been appointed, and 
was ill and had asked me to sit for him, which as I 
had a holiday I was very ready to do. It was my 
first experience of travelling to little country towns, 
and in those days, when there were no motors and 
the railways were very slow and inconvenient, it was 
anything but a pleasant task. I remember in the 
County Club, which gave me a kindly hospitality, a 
genial, well-built, jolly squire, who knew what my 
job was, asked me how the working class of the 
North compared with the men I met in the courts 
round Norfolk. I made answer to the effect that the 
Northerners were quicker and sharper, perhaps, but, 
then, the Norfolk people had a quaint mother wit. 
" But/' I added, " either of them can tell you what 
isn't true occasionally." 

" Oh," he cried, " liars 1 Of course, they're liars ! 
174 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

That's nothing. They are all Radicals and Dis- 
senters about here ! " 

I have often wondered how my good friend 
Judge Willis, K.C., got on with the Norfolk squire 
when he was appointed to that circuit. 

The difference between the Manchester ways of 
thought and those of Norfolk were very marked, and 
so were their methods of business. At one place 
a solicitor began quoting some law from a book, when 
his opponent got up indignantly and said it was a 
well-understood local custom that if a solicitor was 
going to bring a law book, he should give notice 
to the other side. I agreed that it was a very proper 
custom, and impounded the law book, feeling strongly 
that if there was any advantage in the possession of 
the law book it should be with the Court. 

The case went on very well without any law, as it 
was a running-down case and a not unamusing one. 
A local ruffian had hired a pony and cart and gone 
to Sheringham to collect his father's rents. He took 
two friends with him, and they seemed to have 
drunk the rents and smashed up the trap and lamed 
the pony. The ruffian was a humorist, very stolid 
and slow, with an added falsetto of his own to the 
long, drawling Norfolk speech which seemed to 
amuse the people in court greatly. Neither solicitor 
could make anything of him, so I thought I would 
try my hand on him. 

" Now, how did the accident happen ? " I asked 
sternly. 

" Nay I doan't know. I was 'elping to put pony 

175 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

back i' sharves. I doan't know how 'e got out. I 
think belly band broke." 

" But you must know something about it." 
" Na ay," drawled the witness. " I worn't 
driving ; Bill wor driving." 

" Then if you remember nothing about it, were 
you drunk ? " 

" Me drunk ? " asked the witness in pained 
surprise. " What, me drunk ! Na-ay, I wor no 
more drunk nor your lordship." 

There was a titter, promptly suppressed, but the 
witness stared blankly at the crowd without a 
twinkle in his eye. 

" Well, what was Bill doing while you were putting 
the pony in ? " 

" Bill ! " A long pause of thought. " Oh, Bill ! 
'E wor sittin i' 'edge looking on." 
" Was Bill drunk ? " 

" What, Bill drunk ? Na-ay, 'e wor no more 
drunk nor your lordship." 
A second and more prolonged titter. 
" Well, what was the other man doing ? " I 
asked. 

" Oh, you mean Jim. Let me see. Jim wor 
lying on 'is back in the road Some boys got 'old 
of 'im and began draggin' 'im by the 'eels round 
the common. 'E wor a bit drunk, 'e wor." 

" Very drunk, I should say," commented the 
Court severely. 

" Na-ay," dissented the witness with deep serious- 
ness. " Na-ay, I doan't think so. It was sea air 

176 



ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS 

that upset Jim. 'E'd been to Sheringham, and 
Jim 'e ain't used to sea air." 

Everyone in court laughed loud at this excuse, 
except the witness and the Court, and of the two the 
witness was far the better actor at keeping an 
impassive face. 

Many strange stories were told of Addison's prede- 
cessor, the late Judge Price, who seems to have been 
a second Crompton Hutton in his methods of 
administering justice. I got a vivid glimpse of his 
system at one of the courts I visited. It was held in 
a little country town in a big barn-like building. 
The judge robed in a caretaker's house. Then we 
formed a procession, the judge and the registrar 
being preceded by a policeman and a yellow dog, his 
property. It was rather like going to be hanged 
without a chaplain. We crossed a brick-paved yard 
and walked up the centre of a crowded building. 
A conjuror had been there the night before, and the 
judge sat on a dais of packing cases covered with 
green baize. These keggled whenever the witnesses 
came up. The plaintiff stood on an auctioneer's 
rostrum, and the defendant sat on a common 
Windsor chair. Whenever a case was called on the 
Registrar got up and called out, " All witnesses 
leave the court." No one moved, and the policeman 
and the dog strolled round the building and selected 
witnesses. These he threw out with very little 
trouble, but it was an undignified proceeding, and 
wasted a lot of time. I could see that I should spend 
the rest of the day in the place, and probably miss 

JS. 177 N 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

the last train if I did not move. So I sent for the 
Registrar, a worthy gentleman of the old school, and 
told him my views. 

" I don't want all the witnesses out of court, ".I 
said. 

" The late judge always had them out of court, 
your Honour." 

" I dare say, but I don't think it's necessary, and 
it wastes time." 

" Yes, your Honour, but the late judge always had 
the witnesses out of court," repeated the Registrar. 

" Well, I must ask you not to order them out of 
court to-day. It takes a long time to get them out, 
and longer still to get them back again." 

There was a note of contempt in the Registrar's 
voice as he replied, " The late judge never had the 
witnesses back, your Honour." 

I felt that I was in the presence of a procedure 
invented by a judicial genius. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE COMPLEAT CITIZEN 

Question. What is thy duty towards thy Neighbour ? 
Answer. My duty towards my Neighbour, is to love him as 
myself, and to do to all men, as I would they should do unto me. 

A Catechism. " Book of Common Prayer." 

UNTIL each of us faithfully fulfils the first clause 
of his duty to his neighbour it seems unlikely that 
we shall see in the flesh a manifestation of the 
compleat citizen. I prefer the old-fashioned phrase 
to the modern slang of super-citizen, but I take it 
the idea of our seventeenth-century fathers was 
much the same as ours, only they knew enough 
English to express it in their own tongue. 

And one naturally goes back for a motto for 
citizenship to Dr. Nowel, sometime dean of the 
cathedral church of St. Paul, who, " like an honest 
Angler, made that good, plain, unperplexed Cate- 
chism which is printed with our good old Service- 
book." For, if anyone wished to study the evolu- 
tion of citizenship in this country, he would, I think, 
for past history read the records of that ancient 
community of citizens that dwelt in the old days 
east of Temple Bar, though for the modern evidence 
of the continued existence of citizenship he would 

179 N 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

have of necessity to journey towards the rugged 
north. For if there is one thing that stands out as 
typical of the north countryman of to-day, it is his 
pride of citizenship. Just as Paul boasted of 
Tarsus when he was away from his native Cilicia, 
so the Manchester man, away from Lancashire, the 
Leeds man far from Yorkshire, or the Newcastle 
man dreaming of his beloved Northumberland, can 
always remember that he too is a citizen of no 
mean city. 

There is no widespread sense of citizenship in 
London. It exists sporadically, no doubt. The 
germs of it must be there, but the thing itself fell 
with the City walls, and passed away with the 
destruction of the last gate. No doubt it will grow 
and flourish anew, and perhaps the foundations even 
now are being laid on the south bank of the Thames 
opposite Westminster. But even in Doctor 
Johnson's day the thing itself was not. Lover of 
London as he was and not even Boswell had a 
finer gust for the great city you find him 
claiming for his beloved that she was pre-eminent 
in learning and science, and that she possessed the 
best shops in the world, but he does not assert 
these things with the pride of a citizen. No ! 
London to the great man is a " heaven upon 
earth," and in those very words he negatives the 
idea of citizenship, for to be a citizen is to be a part 
proprietor, having a voice in the management of the 
concern and a responsibility for its industry and 
good behaviour. Citizenship mean 7 ; freedom and 

180 



THE COMPLEAT CITIZEN 

the exercise of a franchise and the privileges 
belonging to a peculiar city. Pious visions of 
heaven give no hint of such things. And though 
London was and is all that Doctor Johnson claims, 
it is as much the property of the foreigner as of the 
denizen. Boswell had as great a share in it as his 
friend, and in truth neither had more than an 
equitable title to be called Londoner. 

There is indeed no possibility of a citizen in 
London being in any real sense. a compleat citizen. 
The pictures in his galleries, the trees and flowers 
in his parks, the statues in his streets, are not 
really his at all. In London if a new road is cut 
across the grass of the park a few murmurs may 
reach the ears of some remote official through the 
pages of the Press, but they cause him no uneasiness. 
Did such an affair awaken the indignation of the 
citizens of Manchester, meetings would be held, 
debates raised, and in the City Council the head of 
the official would be demanded by the malcontents, 
or at least a resolution moved to disallow his 
salary on the estimates. People who have not 
been citizens of any of the great towns of the North 
can have but little idea of the keen interest taken 
in municipal matters. In London day by day one 
scarcely reads a word in the Press of the great 
problems of civic administration which are so 
important to health and happiness. Gas and 
water are regarded with light-hearted contempt 
unless the services break down, when the simple 
Londoner engages in futile summer correspondence 

181 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

dear to the heart of editors in want of copy. The 
gas and water and electricity, like the pictures and 
parks, are not his to manage. But the citizen of 
no mean city sees the great committees of his 
parliament fighting as to who shall serve him at 
least cost and at the same time make the noblest 
contributions towards the rates. When the New 
Zealander rediscovers this island arid digs up the 
engineering works of our time to read papers about 
them to his historical society, he will find the great 
cities of the North bringing their water from the 
mountains of Cumberland and Wales, Manchester, 
Liverpool and Birmingham linked to Thirlmere, 
Vyrnwy and Rhayader ; but he will have to peck 
about in the clay a long time before he finds any 
vestiges of the little troughs in which they store 
their water hereabouts. That Thirlmere scheme 
was, I think, typical of Manchester and north- 
country citizenship. There you had up against 
you the whole sentiment of the indolent holiday 
makers, the landed proprietors and the average 
man in the street who is of no city, headed by that 
honest prophet and champion of lost causes, John 
Ruskin. But citizenship was there, and citizen- 
ship won. And it is always to me one of the crosses 
of life that John Ruskin never had a good word 
for Manchester, though Manchester returned good 
for evil by gathering together, after he had gone, 
the most beautiful and thoughtful collection to 
illustrate his works and days. No one asserts that 
Manchester is the Good and the Beautiful exempli- 

182 



THE COMPLEAT CITIZEN 

fied, but the author of " Fors Clavigera " ought to 
have seen a sense of beauty in a community mani- 
festing itself in the perfection of outward and 
visible cleanliness, comfort and health, and a daily 
raising of the standard of living. The purity of 
life is higher in the great cities of the North than in 
many rural villages which look so peaceful and 
beautiful. Slum conditions are not unknown in 
the background of the garden of England, where 
life seems on the surface to be roses, roses, all the 
way. And the only antidote to all these evils that 
I can foresee is the growth of that spirit of citizen- 
ship which is of so little account in the South either 
in town or country, but which seems to be struck 
out of the very granite setts by the hoofs of the 
lurry horses when they haul the cotton bales along 
the Manchester streets. 

And although I can only lay claim to have been 
a citizen by adoption, yet on one or two occasions 
I got whirled into the midst of a local fight, and 
as Yuba Bill would say, " waded in with the best/' 
And it was one of the curious features of Manches- 
ter that, in the very shortest period, she finds a 
place for the foreigner and whistles him on to her 
deck, and there he is pulling the ropes and working 
the windlass like a native born. Yiddish, German, 
Greek, Albanian, Turk, Spaniard, Scot, Irish, and 
even the intractable Celt or Silurian from remote 
Wales may live in Manchester and even continue 
to speak their native tongues, but surely and by 
no means slowly, they are kneaded into the citizen 

183 



WHAT tiiE JUDGE SAW 

mass of municipal dough, and may even be chosen 
as plums for the pudding or be selected as that 
decorative sprig of civic glory which we stick at 
the top of the affair and worship for twelve months 
as My Lord Mayor. 

And a merry encounter I had with the powers 
that be it is deemed an honourable thing to set 
the shoulders of the Corporation on the ground in 
a fair bout and I recall it with greater pleasure 
because it was the last time I appeared as an 
advocate. It was my last brief, as it were, and 
Cerberus-like I was the solicitor, the counsel and 
the client three single gentlemen rolled into one 
and what was more, I won my case. And it was 
not, as you may be thinking, a mere police-court 
affair, I had not been riding my bicycle on the 
footpath, my dog had not strayed round the corner 
in undress and met a policeman why do dogs 
without collars meet policemen ? a mad dog never 
does nor had I been watering the garden in the 
summer when the Corporation annually arrange to 
be short of water. No ; as a matter of fact, I was 
not the defendant. I was the prosecutor, and I 
was prosecuting the Corporation for conspiracy to 
annoy certain peaceful residents of Withington, 
including myself. And as in this comic-opera 
constitution of ours when a Corporation annoys you, 
you arraign them before themselves, it is some- 
thing to have achieved to have prosecuted a Town 
Council successfully before themselves, and to have 
found a Town Council brave and honest enough 

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to convict themselves and promise not to do it 
again. 

It arose in this way. When I found that I 
really was a Manchester citizen and was going to 
live there for ever and ever, as I hoped, I made 
up my mind to buy a home of my own, and I 
settled on a corner house at the back of Withington 
village, bounded on one side by a narrow street 
called Brunswick Road, and on the other by another 
narrow street called Burlington Road. They were 
paved by setts, as all the Manchester streets are, 
but even the setts had a peaceful old-world aspect, 
and so little traffic was there over them that the grass 
sprang up between them, just as the history books 
tell us it used to do all over England before the 
repeal of the Corn Laws. Beyond the house were 
fields with potatoes in them and ponds to slide on 
in the winter, and there was a little stream at the 
end of Heaton Road, whose presiding naiad col- 
lected old domestic china in parts and left them 
carelessly lying on her bed. Then there was that 
ideal school for children at Ladybarn House, with 
a playground to which you could stroll and watch 
really great cricket matches, and marvel at the self- 
detachment of a young lady of eight who could 
field long-stop and make a surreptitious daisy chain 
at the same time. Once a year, indeed, there was 
a large but orderly crowd at the annual athletic 
sports. One policeman kept it in excellent order. 
The sport was of a high class, and you could watch 
a future " blue," literally a three-year-old, romping 

185 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

home in the kindergarten race, for which he had 
been laboriously trained by his elder sisters on a 
neighbouring lawn. 

Of course, it was not to be expected that this 
sylvan retreat could remain for ever. The builder 
was bound to steal the fields from the potatoes. 
The North- Western Railway had obtained powers 
to make its way across to Parr's Wood, and bought 
out the cuckoos that they might not jeer at the 
engine-drivers and madden them to striking pitch 
with their call of the summer. But you cannot 
expect a cuckoo to keep faith, and only last year I 
heard them again from my bedroom window and 
if you will be hospitable to birds, as Manchester 
folk can be, and make a feast of fat and cocoanut 
in the garden, I know no place where birds are more 
ready to return your call without ceremony. We 
had many generations of thrushes born in our little 
garden, and starlings, blackbirds, robins and tom- 
tits would build with us on occasion, and would 
drop in promiscuous-like all through the day. 

Some who know the place of which I write, may 
think that there is a note of exaggeration in my 
description. I am ready to agree that at no time 
was the hinterland of Withington a mere fairyland 
of milk and honey and green pastures and still 
waters, but it had certain attributes of homeliness 
and peace and quiet that make me remember it with 
the gratitude due from one whose lines had fallen 
in pleasant places. 

It was this retreat of hard-working citizens that 
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the Corporation sought to destroy without warning 
or consultation, and if it had not been that I found 
practically every resident of my own way of thinking 
and spoiling for a fight, I think they would have 
successfully ruined the district. 

It was a summer morning, and a Sunday at that, 
when we woke up to the fact that the motor 'buses 
were careering along our narrow roads back and 
front of the house. They came hurtling over the 
setts at the rate of about six an hour, and as you 
heard them chirruping in the distance and screaming 
near to you and experienced the trail of stench they 
left along their way, and saw the pavements and 
side-walks splattered with mud, it was clear that if 
they had come to stay, those of us who could afford 
would have to go. 

But why had the motor 'bus invaded us in this 
way ? The answer was easily given. A company, the 
chairman of which was a powerful town councillor, 
had obtained licences to run 'buses along these side 
roads from Levenshulme to Stretford. They were 
to run by these back ways because the Council had 
trams on the main route, and did not want the 
company or competition of the 'buses. No doubt 
the end of August had been chosen to start the 
'buses, because in a residential district like ours 
everyone was away for the holidays. I was just 
going off to Grasmere, and telling my solicitor to 
threaten the company with an action for nuisance, 
I fired a letter into the papers and went my way. 
To my delight I found that the whole neighbour- 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

hood was up in arms, and although I grudged the 
holiday time given up to it, I went into the fight with 
considerable gusto. There was the usual newspaper 
correspondence. We dilated on the amenities of 
Withington and pointed out that the only traffic 
really catered for was the Sunday bond-fide 
traveller, and asked why one lucky councillor 
should have these licences given him when the rest 
of such traffic was run by the Corporation for the 
ratepayers. The reply was made that we were a 
lot of selfish people " carriage people " we were 
generally called who lived luxurious days in 
glorious country, which we wished to keep to our- 
selves, and that this company of motor 'buses had 
been mainly formed in the interest of the working 
man, who desired to ruralise among us. 

In the midst of all this clash of words we organised 
a petition, and the other side did the same. It was 
clear that we had the residents, who were nearly 
all of them workers in the city of various grades, 
entirely with us. We had a very strong case on 
these two points alone. First, that the type of 'bus 
used by the company was undesirable, and secondly, 
that the roads over which it ran were unsuitable. 
The other side had a strong case, in that temporary 
licences were already granted, and the Corporation 
were not likely to go back on a matter they had just 
decided. Further, the eminent councillor at the 
head of the company had many supporters in the 
Town Council, including the Lord Mayor, and 
Withington was a district recently added to 

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Manchester, and not much in touch as yet with 
Council affairs. Before we carried our petition to 
the Council, in clubs and places where they wager, 
the betting was three or four to one against us, but 
I am conceited enough to chronicle that after the 
hearing it dropped to evens. 

I confess that it was so long since I had played 
the advocate that it was with some trepidation that 
I briefed myself to appear in my own interests at the 
hearing before the Hackney Coach Sub-Committee, 
A large number of residents went with me, and I 
stated my own case and theirs. I should like to 
report my speech at length. It was a beautiful 
speech. But the only phrase I remember was one 
in which I demolished the argument that we were 
a lot of selfish, stuck-up carriage people by confess- 
ing "that for my part the only carriage I had ever 
possessed was a double perambulator, and I thought 
most of my neighbours held the same record/' 

As a Manchester citizen I should have liked to 
have to chronicle a more speedy judgment, but his- 
torical accuracy compels me to say that Wilmslow, 
Levenshulme, Altrincham, and Urmston all took 
steps to protect the amenities of their roads before 
Manchester. It was not before October 8 that 
the committee refused to continue the licences. 
Still, we could boast that in six short weeks the resi- 
dents of our little oasis had risen in rebellion against 
our rulers and governors and convinced them of the 
error of their ways. 

A friend of mine on the Town Council used to 
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WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

tease me a good deal about the beauties of the 
Withington District. He lived in lovely far off 
country himself, and had only visited Withington 
as a member of the Highways Committee. 

" It seems an ordinary enough sort of place," he 
said. 

" Let me remind you of what Wordsworth says/' 
I replied. 

Minds that have nothing to confer 
Find little to perceive. 

You can always obtain the just rude word to end 
a discussion from Wordsworth's poems or David's 
Psalms David is perhaps a little heavy handed for 
these days. 

I suppose it is because my forefathers lived on the 
marches that I cannot help enjoying a downright 
good fight. I know it is wicked to enjoy the angry 
scenes of a contest, but even the saintly John Henry 
Newman confesses on occasions to have had " his 
monkey up " not a very fierce and vicious monkey, 
but sufficient of a monkey as a precedent for a poor 
pagan to refer to and when you get a wilderness 
of monkeys up, as we did in the Battle of the Sites, 
then is there a scene for Homer's pen. 

As when a torrent from the hills, swoln with Saturnian 

showers, 
Falls on the fields, bears blasted oaks and withered rosin 

flowers 

. . . into the ocean's force. 

So did every man, woman and child in the 
city get whirled into the contest and rush into 

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the flood, and get carried out of their depths 
and find themselves very much at sea. But it 
was a fight. 

The Battle of the Sites was only a glorious inci- 
dent in the thirty years' war that in Manchester had 
been steadily raging round the affair of the Royal 
Infirmary. And I am far from suggesting that the 
good individuals who were members of the Board 
of the Infirmary were any worse citizens than the 
rest of us. But such is human nature that the 
action of a board or committee is not the action of 
the individuals. A sort of lowest common moral 
denominator is found by consent of all, and that 
becomes the ruling quantity in the resultant action. 
When a good man makes a mistake he apologises and 
makes amends. Had any individual member of the 
Infirmary Board done some of the things that were 
done by him collectively, I have never doubted that 
when the wrong was pointed out he would have 
hastened to straighten things out. But a board 
or committee never apologises, neither does it pay 
the costs when judgment goes against it. Those 
come out of the estate. 

And I wish I could believe the theory of Cardinal 
Newman, who solemnly tells us in his " Apologia": 
" Also, besides the hosts of evil spirits, I considered 
there was a middle race, Sat^cwa, neither in heaven 
nor in hell ; partially fallen, capricious, wayward ; 
noble or crafty, benevolent or malicious, as the 
case might be. These beings gave a sort of inspira- 
tion or intelligence to races, nations, and classes of 

191 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

men. Hence the action of bodies politic and asso- 
ciations, which is often so different from that of the 
individuals who compose them." It is a charming 
conceit, but if taken literally might lead to committees 
throwing all responsibilities for their delinquencies 
upon the little demons at their elbows. But I like 
to imagine and picture the scene of a board meeting 
with Sai/uowa in attendance, painted in the manner 
of the younger Teniers, whose goblins, teasing the 
unhappy Dives, have cheered me since early boy- 
hood. Certainly if there were any smaller devils 
taking part in Infirmary affairs, which seems a prac- 
tical solution of many difficult problems, they were 
not wise devils indeed, they were silly devils 
and we did well to cast them out. 

When the new Infirmary was building in the 
Oxford Road, I happened to meet Mr. Charles 
Hopkinson, who deserves so well of the citizens for 
his careful and devoted work on the Building 
Committee. He was admiring the rapidly rising 
building, and I told him that I did not see any- 
thing of those two pedestals in the front gardens. 

" What two pedestals ? " asked Hopkinson ; "I 
never heard of any pedestals in the design." 

" Certainly/' I replied, " there were to be two 
pedestals for the two statues." 

" I haven't a notion what you mean," answered 
Hopkinson, impatiently. " Whose statues ? " 

" Joseph Bell's and my own," I called back over 
my shoulder. 

And although Hopkinson was quite right, and 

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these statues have not been placed there even yet, 
still it is only fitting that the great building on the 
Oxford Road should have had some memorial of 
Bell and myself, for without us there would have 
been no Royal Infirmary on the Oxford Road. A 
mediaeval builder would have expressed in a series 
of sculptured capitals the whole history of the Battle 
of the Sites, and left satirical portraits of the old 
Board in gargoyles hanging over the guttering, 
whilst a statue of Joseph Bell would have adorned 
a spacious quadrangle, round the walls of which 
myself and the others of his committee were 
portrayed in brilliant mosaics. But your modern 
architect, who would be annoyed at being called a 
builder, never puts into his work any of the history 
of his building, but is quite content to erect adequate 
walls and roof and useful equipment and decorate the 
outside, much as a confectioner be-sugars a cake, to 
please the eye for the moment rather than with 
any intention of expressing ideas in his art. No 
doubt the Gothic days are over, and the Gothic 
spirit is dead, but Manchester has got what she 
wanted, an Infirmary building second to none in 
the kingdom. 

I always intended to have a return match with 
the old Infirmary Board, because, although I won 
the first of the rubber, the loss of the game did 
not to my mind fall on the shoulders of those who 
ought to have borne it. 

Early in 1893 a lady sought my advice through 
her solicitor. Her story was a very extraordinary 

J.s. 193 o 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

one. She had been a nurse at the Royal Infirmary 
since 1889. Her career was successful. She had 
been selected to attend on the late Oliver Heywood, 
and up to November of 1892 there had never been 
a word of complaint about her work or her conduct. 
A small-pox epidemic now broke out in Lymm, in 
Cheshire. Another nurse had been sent there and 
was ill it was supposed, of small-pox. My client 
was sent there hurriedly to take her place. She 
found the so-called small-pox hospital to be two 
cottages converted into a temporary hospital, and 
her colleague was ill in bed, and was taken away. 
There was also a wife of a tramp dying of small- 
pox, and eight or ten patients. There was no 
water in the house. It is needless to repeat 
other unpleasant details of want of equipment. 
She stuck to her task for several days ; she sat 
up with a delirious patient all night, and when 
the patient died she had to help the men bring in 
the coffin and screw down the lid, it being with much 
difficulty and only after bribes of whisky that 
they would come inside the cottages at all. After 
writing letters to the authorities in Manchester and 
asking the local doctor for help that did not come, 
she at length broke down in health and fled. Arrived 
at Monsall, she was nursed there for a week, and at 
the end of that time received her dismissal without 
notice, and was refused permission, though at the 
end of her probation, to pass her examinations. 

Every effort was made to get the old Board to do 
justice to the lady and let her pass her examination, 

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but as no redress was to be obtained without 
litigation a writ was issued. Under her agreement 
the Infirmary Board had no right to send her to 
Lymm at all. The lady desired no damages against 
the charity, and, therefore, an action was brought 
for an order to compel the Board to allow her to take 
her examinations. Shee led me in the case, and Gully 
and Sutton were for the defendants and I have no 
doubt told them exactly what they thought of 
them. Certainly it was with an air of great relief 
that Gully, at Mr. Justice Day's suggestion, threw 
up the defence and agreed that the lady should sit 
for her examination. 

The nurse agreed to compromise on the under- 
standing that the matter was left in the hands of 
the Medical Board, whose examination she success- 
fully passed. The lady got justice, but the Infirmary 
Board did not, and I made up my mind that if I ever 
got the chance of a return match with them, they 
should not be let off so lightly again. 

The Battle of the Sites had started years before 
I came to Manchester. The old Board had made 
up its mind to rebuild the Infirmary on the old site 
in the centre of the city ; the majority of the citizens 
wished it to go to the present site at Stanley Grove, 
which was a gift of the Whitworth Trustees. Of 
the jealousies, squabbles, and troubles of all these 
years the less said the better. 

The old Board, with Fabian genius, continually 
prevented any agreement with the University 
authorities, and brought any other plan than that 

195 o 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

of rebuilding on the old site to a dilatory end. The 
older generations of great citizens who had fought 
the Board in the past Thomas Ashton, Reuben 
Spencer, Henry Simon, and Dr. Leech were no 
longer with us, and in 1902 the old Board thought this 
was a most excellent time to carry through their pet 
scheme. They actually prepared plans for the 
rebuilding, and called a meeting, believing that the 
opposition had died down. 

The one man who defeated their plans was 
Joseph Bell. His interests in the commercial world 
have been too engrossing to allow him much time 
for political work, but from the way he handled the 
Infirmary question, I make sure he would be a big 
asset to any political party. At the first onslaught 
it did not appear that the old Board's opponents were 
very strong, but the meeting stood adjourned. I 
had never met Bell, but I received a note from 
him, asking for an interview, a letter of mine 
having been read at the first meeting. It was 
when I was reading his note that I remembered 
that, from a dramatic point of view, I had left the 
case between the nurse and the Infirmary Board 
unfinished. 

Joseph Bell came to see me after Court with a 
bundle of papers, and, sitting down at my table, 
told me the whole story of the Infirmary Board and 
their doings on the site question from the earliest 
days. Two things were clear ; one, that my visitor 
had a thorough and intimate knowledge of his 
subject, and, two, that he meant business. When 

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THE COMPLEAT CITIZEN 

he had ended his statement he looked at me keenly 
and said : " Are you going to help ? " 

" What are you going to do ? " I asked. 

" We are going to clear out the old Board and 
build a new infirmary on the Stanley Grove site." 

" You may put it there/' I said, holding out my 
hand. 

" Then the battle can proceed," said Joseph Bell, 
laughing. 

And a very excellent fight it was. I should be 
sorry to have to read again all the letters that were 
written and speeches that were made. I remember 
I had to move the resolution against the old Board 
at the Memorial Hall and Lord Derby was in the 
chair. I certainly did not forget the nurse case 
when I told the members of the old Board that, 
" however great my temptations, I would not say 
anything worse of them than I knew they often said 
of themselves, namely, that they had left undone all 
they ought to have done, and had done all they ought 
not to have done, and there was no health in them." 
A sentiment I was glad to hear heartily cheered. 

We won the resolution, we won the poll the 
friends of the old Board demanded, and then we had 
an election forced upon us. Joseph Bell's policy 
had been to form a Board by consent, and on his 
" ticket " he ran several members of the old Board 
who more or less favoured his views. He was 
absolutely master of the situation, and could, had 
he wished, have nominated his own Board. There 
were twenty-two members to be elected, and Bell's 

197 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

committee put up twenty-one. The friends of the 
old Board did not understand Bell's good sense in 
taking over so many members of the old Board, and 
did their best to thwart any settlement by consent. 
An election took place, and certainly created more 
interest and feeling than any municipal election that 
I can remember. It was with some excitement 
that, coming out of Court on the afternoon of the 
counting, I bought a paper from a Chronicle boy, 
who was shouting out " Result of the Infirmary 
Poll." One of Bell's candidates had resigned at 
the last moment, and the other twenty were returned 
at the head of the poll. 

As I read the successful names I felt a sense of 
relief. Something had been attempted and some- 
thing done. That nurse case that had begun 
before Mr. Justice Day ten years ago was really 
finished. 

But though the Battle of the Sites was over, 
the Battle of what to do with the old Site is not yet 
well begun, for having pulled down the old building, 
there is a very pretty quarrel going on as to what to 
put in its place. And I envy Joseph Bell sniffing 
the battle from the upper windows of Portland Street, 
where the stricken field and it is a stricken field 
lies at his doorstep. At the right time he, as a good 
Manchester citizen, will off with his coat and rush 
into the fray whilst I shall be idling here, with no 
right to heave even half a brick in the good cause. 
But whoever is on the other side, the stable money 
is on Joseph Bell. 

198 



CHAPTER XII 

THAT REMINDS ME 

FLUELLEN : It is not well done, mark you now, to take the 
tales out of my mouth, ere it is made and finished. 

SHAKESPEARE : " King Henry V." 

THAT reminds me that the little Welshman and 
what race understands the rules of courtesy more 
truly warns us against the ill manners of inter- 
rupting the story of our companion by our own 
incomparably wittier jest, until there has been a 
fair pause for the courtly reception of his somewhat 
antiquated tale, and then, I take it, good breeding 
compels us to pretend that out of the ashes of his 
dusty reminiscences our own admirable phoenix 
has sprung, and we begin our story with " That 
reminds me/' not as a boast, but out of mere com- 
plaisance. But when one has only oneself to 
interrupt the course is smoother. Nor is it at all 
necessary that there should be any real sequence 
in the story-telling to justify the phrase. It is a 
well-known convention of the game that you may 
dash off into a story having no reference to the 
past conversation as long as you preface it with 
some lip-service to the pleasures of memory. For 
the story-telling habit comes down to us, no doubt 

199 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

from the East and the " Arabian Nights." Poor 
Scheherazade had a special reason for being reminded 
of a new story at the right moment, she indeed 
being the first lady novelist who literally made her 
living out of fiction. Really I cannot but think we 
should get some brighter and more entertaining 
stories from the fair writers of to-day if their novels 
were written under a similar stimulus. This habit 
of irrelevant story -telling is no new thing Cervantes 
caught it from the East, perhaps, and our own 
Fielding glories in it as being part of the method of 
the Master ; for is not the " History of the Man of the 
Hill" a corollary to the "Novell of the Curious Imper- 
tinent " ? Dickens no doubt inherited the manner 
directly from Fielding, and in his earlier style will 
interrupt unblushingly the humours of an evening at 
Dingley Dell to narrate the unnecessary clergyman's 
unnecessary narrative of " The Convict's Return," 
and then, as old Wardle says, " You are fairly in it ! " 

And having satisfied my petty legal mind with 
the precedents in the case, and convinced myself 
that irrelevant story-telling is, as the golfer would 
say, a fair hazard, I will confess that I should 
not have interrupted my narrative with this 
particular embarrassing and irrelevant chapter had 
I not seen an excellent portrait of Partington 
the other day. How many remember that sound 
artist ? I last heard of him from Sir Henry Irving, 
who had seen him in San Francisco and this picture 
of Partington's reminded me of George Freemantle, 
that prince of musical critics, whose picture by the 

200 



THAT REMINDS ME 

same artist still hangs in the Brasenose Club, where 
he was so greatly beloved, and that reminded me of 
Murphy, Q.C., and that reminded me of the Right 
Honourable Arthur James Balfour, and not un- 
naturally that reminded me of " The Story of the 
Mysterious Barber," which, as Sir Francis Burnand's 
Mr. Barlow says as you have not heard, I will 
now proceed to relate. And " The Story of the 
Mysterious Barber "is in reality the story of the 
election petition against Mr. Balfour in 1892. 

Now, although this petition was a farce and a 
fiasco at that, yet I am far from thinking that, to 
those who started it, it was as obviously an ill-advised 
a proceeding as it quickly appeared to be in court. 
Of course, Mr. Balfour himself desired the election 
to be conducted on the purest lines, but, then, 
Mr. Balfour by himself probably could not have 
succeeded in winning the election. The man who 
won the election was Stephen Chest ers Thompson, 
the uncrowned king of Ardwick, and at the back 
of Chesters Thompson was a brewery. In manner 
and appearance Chesters Thompson was as genial a 
ruffian as ever scuttled a ship, but he had a big heart 
and an open hand, and was genuinely fond of 
throwing largess to his poorer neighbours. I have 
heard that he would enter a grocer's shop on a Satur- 
day night or Monday morning, when the women 
were paying up their books, and, snatching the books 
from their hands with a " Now, missus, I'll be settling 
this for you," he would pay up all the books and de- 
part with a jest and a laugh, as though the affair were 

201 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

a commonplace pleasantry. He and Mr. Balfour 
were, indeed, an ill-assorted pair, but politics makes 
one acquainted with strange friends, and no one 
ever saw the least impatience exhibited by Mr. 
Balfour towards his adjutant. I never heard 
Chest ers Thompson make a long oration, but I 
remember him once at the end of a meeting jumping 
up and delivering a panegyric on Mr. Balfour. At 
the close of its tawdry, fulsome, and sincere adula- 
tion, which Mr. Balfour bore like a hero, Chesters 
Thompson wound up by patting him endearingly 
on the shoulder with his heavy paw. " I luve 
Arthur James Balfour," he said, swaying heavily 
about with suppressed emotion, and throwing the 
whole weight of his devotion into the second syllable 
of the word Balfour, which he always accented 
thus. " I luve Arthur James Balfour," he continued, 
" and I tell you boys this, that should the day ever 
coom that it is necessary, I shall be there to place 
the body of Stephen Chesters Thompson between 
Arthur James Balfour and the dagger of the 
arsarsin." The cheers that rent the stuffy atmo- 
sphere of the hired schoolroom at this magnificent 
sentiment proved that in Ardwick, at least, poetry, 
romance, melodrama call it what you will was 
a living force, and that Chesters Thompson was its 
high priest. 

With such a general and many lieutenants who 
modelled themselves on their leader, it is not to be 
wondered at that stories came round bearing the 
interpretation of ill-doing. The election was a very 

202 



THAT REMINDS ME 

keenly contested one. Professor Munro, who 
fought for the Liberals, put up an excellent fight, 
and was only beaten by 398 votes. In August it 
was announced that a petition had been lodged by 
the defeated candidate. Nothing personal was 
alleged against Mr. Balfour, but there were allega- 
tions of illegal practices, bribery, treating, and 
general corruption. 

What was done between August and November to 
collect the necessary evidence I have no idea, but 
when the briefs were delivered it was very clear that 
it would be a difficult task to prove any of the 
allegations that had been made. It was on 
November 4 that the case came on before Jus- 
tices Cave and Vaughan Williams. Murphy, Q.C., 
Lewis Coward, and myself were for the petitioner, 
and Finlay, Q.C., Danckwerts, the Hon. A. Lyttelton, 
and Lord Robert Cecil for Mr. Balfour. Murphy, 
who was far from well, addressed the Bench sitting 
down. We really had no case to open, and those 
who had been employed by Professor Munro to 
collect facts had, I fear, been carried away by their 
enthusiasm and belief in the general iniquity of their 
opponents, and had mistaken rumour and hearsay 
for evidence. It was a lamentable position for 
counsel to be in, but Murphy if one can predicate 
such movements about so genial a man-mountain as 
Murphy skilfully danced among a labyrinth of eggs 
with as much certainty and decision as if he were 
upon a clear stage. 

He spent quite a long time over the various 
203 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

matters about which he might or might not satisfy 
the Court, and then he paused and said there was 
one specific case of bribery which, if the witness was 
believed by the Court, would invalidate the election. 
The name of the witness was John Francis Green. 
Murphy himself had never believed in the fellow, 
but he agreed that if when we saw John Francis 
Green he turned out to be a witness of truth, then 
the petition was well founded. 

The mystery of John Francis Green is like the 
problem of the " dark lady " in the Sonnets. Some 
will believe one thing about it and some another. 
The Court refused to believe him at all, and it may 
be that he was merely a romancer and a liar. On 
the other hand, his story may have been partly built 
up from facts relating not necessarily to this election, 
but to some municipal or other contest. Certainly 
it was an extraordinary story for a man to invent at 
the risk of being found guilty of perjury, and with 
the necessity of giving up his business in Ardwick. 
True, he was to receive 200, but only if he gave 
truthful evidence, a not unreasonable arrangement, 
as Ardwick would not have held him if the result of 
his evidence had been to invalidate the election. 

The first day's evidence was devoted to one case 
after another that more or less broke down and 
could not be proved. Then we received news that 
John Francis Green had disappeared. He had been 
ill for some days, and we adjourned without knowing 
whether he would turn up or not. The next day he 
did turn up, a miserable figure muffled up to the chin 

204 



THAT REMINDS ME 

and looking wretchedly ill. Some said his illness 
was mere funk at having to tell his false story in the 
witness-box, but there was even then opportunity 
to go back and speak the truth. However, he told 
his story on oath exactly as he had given it to 
Professor Munro's supporters. 

He was a barber in Ardwick, and had many times 
shaved Mr. Chesters Thompson. He said that one 
of Mr. Balfour's supporters often came to his shop 
and talked to him, and on one occasion gave him 15 
and a letter of instructions, and later on a man he 
did not know, but who said he was an election agent, 
had given him 7. This money Green was to hand 
over to people who presented him tickets, and these 
tickets he described in great detail. There were 
several names on them, and some had sealing-wax 
and a ribbon attached to them. After the election 
some of the tickets and incriminating letters which 
remained with him were, according to Green's state- 
ment, kept by him in a box, and towards the end of 
October his house was broken into and the box 
stolen. That in itself was enough to make one dis- 
believe his story, but when it was found that he 
could not identify any one of Mr. Balfour's supporters 
as the election agent, it was clear that in the absence 
of corroboration his evidence must be dismissed as 
useless. 

Mr. Murphy now took the only course open to him, 
and said he could not usefully continue the petition. 
Mr. Maltby, Mr. Balfour's agent, Mr. Chesters 
Thompson, and others went into the witness-box 

205 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

and formally denied all knowledge of Green and his 
extraordinary story. The Court adjourned until the 
afternoon to deliver judgment, and I took Murphy 
up to the Brasenose Club. 

It was about noon, the club was empty, and 
Murphy reclined on a sofa, and disappeared behind 
the Times. Very soon the paper boys began to yell out 
" Kerlapse of the Pertition ! " " Ker lapse of the Per- 
tition ! " I knew I should have to stand much chaff 
and friendly abuse over the petition, as in all clubs 
where there are no politics eighty per cent, of the 
members were Tory, and it is only the remainder who 
must not indulge in political discussion. And sure 
enough, in rushed Freemantle, the musical critic, 
waving a paper and calling out to me, " Here's nice 
work ! Here's a disgraceful affair to be connected 
with ! Apart from politics altogether, did you ever 
read of such a wicked and abominable conspiracy to 
destroy a political opponent ? Of course, I know you 
have had nothing to do with it, but I should just like 
to be face to face with the ruffian who put this 
wretched case forward ! " 

" You shall," I said, and pulling down the Times 
I disclosed my learned leader and introduced him to 
Freemantle. " Mr. Murphy Mr. Freemantle." As 
I strolled away I felt Murphy was shaking with gentle 
laughter to a running accompaniment of Free- 
mantle's explanations and apologies. 

We went back to the Court, and our case was 
dismissed with ignominy and costs. Freemantle, 
indeed, had not said a word too much about it. I 

206 



THAT REMINDS ME 

was very sorry for Professor Munro, for he was a 
sincere and keen worker for the Liberal party, and 
those who advised with him in the early stages of the 
petition had grievously misled him ; no one supposes 
the election was conducted without errors, but things 
on the other side were not as black as the Liberals 
imagined. 

Certainly no word was ever spoken or thought by 
the most ardent Radical against Mr. Balfour, the 
nominal defendant. His popularity in Manchester 
remained and still remains undiminished. No one in 
the political world was better loved than Mr. Balfour 
by all sorts and conditions of Manchester men. 
Even to the very last those who had always voted 
against him voted with regret, for they felt they were 
parting with the first gentleman in English politics. 
As an Ardwick man said in defence of himself and 
some of his friends, " Nay, mon, it's not Arthur 
James Balfour we're tired of it's his politics." 

And that reminds me not directly, I agree, but I 
will not waste another page in tracing out the 
connection that reminds me of the story of " The 
Good Man and the Manilla Bills." A certain prin- 
cipal brought an action against a firm of very 
respected merchants. The merchants had acted in 
large concerns as his agents. They had shipped 
goods for him for many years to foreign parts and 
had had complicated financial dealings with him. 
He now asserted that for years the merchants had 
been defrauding him, and asked for all the accounts 
to be opened between them and taken afresh. This 

207 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

was, of course, a very serious charge indeed, and when 
the case came before the Chancery Court the sole 
representative of the firm of merchants was the 
Good Man, who I am happy to relate is still with us. 
It is not for a common law man like myself to 
criticise the ways of a Palatine Chancery Court. 
Astbury was my leader, and I was only one of the 
team of three who defended the Good Man. Why 
I was there I never rightly understood, but I 
think I was there to sympathise with the Good Man 
in his trouble while Astbury and his eminent 
solicitor, the cashier and an eminent and chartered 
accountant played hide and seek among the ledgers. 
Technically, perhaps, I was taken into the case to 
cross-examine, but I don't remember doing it. These 
Chancery fellows love doing it, and as the men on the 
other side were Chancery men, and as no one knew 
anything about the law of evidence least of all 
the Court what did it matter ? The case lasted 
forty odd days. That was to the credit of Chancery 
procedure. The leaders arranged each day how 
far they should go, and the Court was only too glad 
to rise when told that " this " was a convenient 
moment, as they were now coming to the Manilla 
bills. And that reminds me that it is time I came 
to the Manilla bills. They were a nightmare to 
Astbury, the eminent solicitor, the cashier and the 
eminent and chartered accountant. I do not know 
that they affected my sleep, but I gathered they 
were the weak point in our case and were probably 
going to ruin the Good Man, and that made me very 

208 



THAT REMINDS ME 

sorry. For the worry about the Manilla bills was 
that in some mysterious monetary manner, in passing 
through banks and ledgers and other financial 
filters, it had so panned out that a quarter or 
was it an eighth ? per cent, that belonged un- 
doubtedly to the plaintiff, remained in the coffers 
of the Good Man. It was the most complicated 
affair, but there it was. The fact must be found 
against us, and then as the Good Man was an agent 
dealing with the monies of his principal, would not 
the Court take the view that this was fraud, and order 
the whole account to be re-opened ? The more 
we talked over this the more exasperating it became. 
The cashier, who had found the system in the 
office when he came there, was rather proud of it, 
and blankly refused to believe there was anything 
wrong about it. The Good Man smilingly gave us 
sixteen different explanations of the matter, which 
Astbury rejected with a scorn that caused the eminent 
solicitor to grow visibly older. Astbury insisted 
in his clear logical way on a clear logical defence 
of our treatment of the Manilla bills. The difficulty 
was there wasn't one. Even if we could have 
invented a theoretical one the Good Man would 
have given it away honestly and simply the first 
time he was asked. So there we were with the 
Manilla bills ahead of us and within a day or 
two of the time when we had to put our Good 
Man in the box to explain his dealings with them. 

" Well ! " said Astbury in despair, " I shall have to 
lead him through the best explanation we have got." 

J.S 209 p 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

" In the Palatine Court that is always possible/' 
I answered ; " but isn't it fatal ? " 

Astbury groaned. 

" Why not let him give all the sixteen explana- 
tions ? " I suggested carelessly. " He would love 
to do it." 

Astbury and the eminent solicitor looked annoyed 
at my flippancy. 

However, as it turned out, Providence had a task 
for me in that case after all, for the Good Man came 
to me and told me that he was so frightened of 
Astbury that he would really like me to examine 
him. 

" I never seem to say what they want me to," 
he said, naively. 

And in the end, it being clear that no form of 
examination of the witness could make the Manilla 
bill business any better or worse, the Good Man had 
his own way, and he and I collaborated in the 
matter. We had a rehearsal. It went like this. I 
asked the Good Man, " What about the Manilla bills ; 
tell me all about them ? " 

The Good Man started off I remember I smoked 
two cigars of say five and seven-eighths during his 
answer. It was then, I think, that he added the 
seventeenth explanation, less convincing than the 
others. I timed him. He was a rapid speaker, 
and then I worked it out in folios I felt sure the 
drama of it was right, and I determined we would 
play it out in our own simple way. I fancy the 
saner spirits among us washed their hands of the 

210 



THAT REMINDS ME 

enterprise altogether, but even in a Chancery 
Court a good comedy well played is irresistible. 
And the Good Man was really an excellent witness. 
My part was not a speaking one. I merely slipped 
him from the leash, so to speak, and away he went. 
I remember the indignant tones in which he 
swept aside the suggestion of fraud and started out 
to victory. The shorthand writers toiled after him, 
panting and breathless. It was like a fine course at 
Altcar, run with vigour and mettle. At the end 
of the first explanation he paused, though only for 
a second, and I could see our opponents pitying us 
but he was off again, heading to the opposite bank, 
and the reporters after him with dismay in their 
faces and our opponents were laughing at his 
contradictions. But not for long. One after 
another came the various possible explanations, 
always prefaced by a kindly smiling desire to say all 
he knew and keep nothing back that could be told. 
At one moment the Vice-Chancellor asked him to 
repeat one of the theories of the finance of the matter. 
He did so. The Vice-Chancellor said he really 
could not understand it, so the Good Man repeated 
it again, and three pages were added to the shorthand 
note. I reckoned before we had finished that the 
Good Man had spoken about forty pages of short- 
hand notes, and in cross-examination the other side 
added another twenty, and an eighteenth new 
explanation of the Manilla bills, which may perhaps 
have been only a variant of the eleventh. But 
the case was won. The Vice-Chancellor had heard 

211 p 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

the Good Man speak the truth, the w ole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, and knew that he was honest. 
It was a triumph of drama over law, and it was the 
Good Man's own victory. 

At the hearing in the Court of Appeal, the 
shorthand note was read and commented upon 
for several days, and the Manilla bills reduced 
the Court to a state of bewildered amazement. 
They knew the rights and wrongs of the subject, for 
those were elementary, but they could not under- 
stand the Good Man's evidence. Like the average 
manager who reads a play in manuscript, they could 
not appreciate the drama of it. And then A. L. Smith 
so like him said " Let's have a look at him." 
And he gave a second show of the Manilla bills in 
the Court of Appeal. I was a judge then, but when 
I heard they had sent for the Good Man to give 
evidence I knew all was well. For as soon as he came 
into the presence of the Master of the Rolls the case 
was over. If there was one man on the bench who 
knew an honest man when he saw him it was A. L. 

And that reminds me quite naturally, for A. L. 
was a sportsman and it was a story of the moors he 
told me that reminded me of this story which I 
once told him that reminds me of the story of 
" The Solicitor and the Ambiguous Grouse/' It is 
really Louis Aitken's story. Would that he were 
with us to claim it ; but it enables me as a humble 
story-teller to take off my hat to him and his story 
as I hand it on to others. 

We had gone up to a remote County Court among 
212 



THAT REMINDS ME 

the Yorkshire moors to thrash out a small building 
dispute. The solicitor who instructed me was an 
old friend of Aitken, and they had often shot 
together here and elsewhere. During the conduct of 
the case it became necessary for me to prove a certain 
document the writer of which was not present. 

" I have no doubt my friend will admit this," I 
said. 

" Not a bit of it," said Aitken, looking very firm. 
" I shall want it proved strictly." 

I leaned over to talk to my solicitor about the 
impasse, when Aitken continued in a bullying tone, 
" There is no difficulty in proving the document. 
Your solicitor can prove it, you know," and then 
with great emphasis, "if he dares to go into the 
box if he dares to go into the box ! " 

" Really, Mr. Aitken," said the judge depre- 
catingly. 

" I have my reasons, your Honour I have my 
reasons," replied Aitken, shaking his head solemnly. 

By this time the solicitor was in the box and had 
taken the oath and shortly proved the document, 
and Aitken arose with a great show of serious 
emotion to cross-examine the witness. 

" Do you remember the 24th of August, 1889 ? " 
he asked. 

" I do," replied the witness with a faint smile. 

r< This is no joking matter, sir. Attend to me. 
I think you and I were shooting on your moor on 
that day." 

" We were." 

213 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

' What on earth has this got to do with the case, 
Mr. Aitken ? " asked the learned judge, putting down 
his pen. 

' Your Honour will see in a moment that it is 
most material/' replied Aitken unabashed. " Now, 
sir, remember you are on your oath, and answer me 
this question without prevarication. Whose bird 
was it ? " 

" Well, really " began the solicitor. 

" Whose bird was it, sir ? " shouted Aitken. 

" Well, I believe it was yours, Mr. Aitken." 

" Ha ! " cried Aitken, triumphantly, and, bowing 
to the learned judge, who was shaking with laughter, 
he added, with impressive humility, " I trust that, 
looking to the satisfactory nature of the witness's 
admission, your Honour will not think I was wasting 
the time of the Court in insisting on the strict proof 
of the document." 

And I suppose it is Louis Aitken who reminds me 
of the Northern Circuit, and I never think of the 
circuit without remembering one of the best friends 
of all of us, till happily of our number, McCall, K.C. 
and he reminds me of the eminent butcher. There 
may be some who have not heard the story of " The 
Irishman and the Dishonest Backer." It is worth 
relating, I think, as an example of the strange 
attitude of mind existing in the unrighteous about 
the administration of the law. 

There was a well-known butcher in our neighbour- 
hood, a great character, and a regular frequenter of 
race meetings. He had had a wager with a book- 

214 



THAT REMINDS ME 

maker named Kelly, and the horse winning had 
drawn 200 from the bookmaker. Kelly had 
reminded him at the time that the bet was not a 
ready-money bet, but the butcher said he wanted the 
money, and, the two being friends, had got it. An 
objection was afterwards lodged and the winner was 
disqualified. Then Kelly wanted his money back. 
The butcher declared the bet was " first past the 
post," which it certainly was not, and Kelly brought 
his action. The case was brought to me to settle 
the defence. Of course, to plead the Gaming Act 
was to win the case, and that was done. At the 
assizes McCall was briefed to lead me, and the 
butcher came to a consultation and tried to persuade 
McCall to put him in the witness-box and let him tell 
his story about the bet. McCall, with his best and 
most rasping north of Ireland accent, told his client 
in so many words what he thought of him and his 
story, and sent him away to reflect on some serious 
home truths. I met the butcher disconsolate in the 
corridor waiting for his case to come on. He 
stopped me, and, pulling an imaginary forelock in 
his simple bucolic way, said in a melancholy voice, 
" Mr. Pony, I thowt as 'ow you 'ad this 'ere case o' 
mine in 'and." 

" So I have," I said. 

" Well, wot do we want wi' this 'ere Macoll 
or Macaul or whatever yer call 'im. Wot's 'e 
for ? " 

I explained that in important cases the idea was 
;o have a leader, just as in the butchering business 

215 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

you had a foreman. The butcher sniffed uneasily 
through my explanation. 

"Well, Mr. Pony," he said at the end of it, 
" would yer mind telling me one thing ? " 

" What is it ? " I asked. 

" Is this 'ere Macoll or Macaul an Irishman ? " 

" Yes, I should say he is," I replied. 

" Aye, I thowt as much," he said, shaking his head 
despairingly. " And you mark my words, Mr. Porry, 

it will be a cross between them two. Thet 

Kelly, the plaintiff, Vs an Irishman, too." 

I chuckled and did not deny the possibility. It 
Ivas amusing to watch my client listen to McCall, 
and note his intense relief when he found that the 
Gaming Act really worked as he had been told it 
would, even in the hands of an Irishman. 

And talking of Irishmen reminds me of the story 
of " The Arabian and the Merchant," which from 
its remoteness from the every-day affairs of the 
circuit is almost as one of Scheherazade's own 
delightful tales. I can fancy Schariar would have 
ordered just such a machine himself as was the casus 
belli in this case. For the dispute was over a piece 
of machinery which a firm of Manchester merchants 
had sold to a potentate called the Malektjar of 
Bushire. The machine was ordered to be made to 
grind corn, bottle soda-water, and make ices, and 
when it left this country the evidence was that it 
could do all these things. In Persia it was carried 
in pieces up country with an engineer, who put it 
together and set it in motion. The local holy men of 

216 



THAT REMINDS ME 

Bushire, honestly believing that the machine was 
some kind of Nonconformist demon, and a danger to 
the national religion, roused up the populace to 
pelt it with sand and murder its acolyte, the engineer. 
The latter escaped with his life, but the machine 
came to a standstill. 

The Arabian who had introduced the business 
to the merchants now quarrelled with them over 
the incidence of the loss. The case was full of detail, 
and drifted slowly along to a settlement. During 
its progress some eminent Persians visited the Mayor 
of Manchester, and we got an order to examine them 
on commission about the machine which, it was 
alleged, they had seen. This took place before the 
Registrar of the High Court. Two gorgeous Easterns 
with a suite of attendants and an interpreter duly 
arrived, and it took fully an hour to get them sworn. 
The potentates desired to kiss the tail of a sacred 
cow. The Registrar held that it was not his business 
to keep one in the King Street office, and counsel 
indulged in a learned argument as to whose duty it 
was. Ultimately the witnesses saluted a Reference 
Library translation of the Koran, and with doubt 
and hesitation and not without prejudice gave 
evidence through the interpreter. The evidence 
of the first was, " I have never seen the machine. 
I have heard it is a false god. They light fires 
before it, and it waves its arms." 

Further testimony was successfully objected to 
as hearsay. The second was more knowledgeable. 
" I have seen the machine. It is no god at all. 

217 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

True it is they light fires before it, but it does not 
wave its arms, it lies still/' On cross-examination 
the witness said he had seen the machine many 
times, and " it grew red with years." A long 
examination failed to elicit from the interpreter 
whether this was rust, and after much courtesy and 
salaams the witnesses left, hugely pleased with 
themselves and their adventure. Soon afterwards 
briefs were delivered and the assizes came along, 
and peace was made between the Arabian and the 
merchant with honour, and, if I remember rightly, 
each party paid their own costs and lived happily 
ever afterwards. And, talking of briefs, that re- 
minds me of the story of " The Welsh Rector and 
the Presbyterian Poacher " but I forgot. I told 
you that one in " Judgment's in Vacation." 



218 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE PEARK 

'Tis with our judgments as our watches ; none 
Go just alike, but each believes his own. 

POPE : " Essay on Criticism." 

SHEE said a witty thing to Lord Coleridge, who 
was puzzled with the Lancashire dialect. A witness, 
in describing a verbal encounter, said, " Then the 
defendant turned round and said if 'e didn't 'owld 
'is noise 'e d knock 'im off 'is peark." 

" Peark ? Mr. Shee, what is meant by peark ?" 
asked the Lord Chief Justice. 

" Oh, peark, my lord, is any position where a man 
elevates himself above his fellows for instance, a 
bench, my lord." 

As a matter of fact, the witness placed an adjective 
before the word " peark." But do not let us bring 
the blush of shame to the cheek of modesty. There 
is no cheek like the cheek of modesty. 

I am reminded of that story by remembering that 
it is more than eighteen years since I was elevated 
on to my " peark " in Quay Street, Manchester. It 
was rather a curious position for me to attain, and 
a fortnight before I was appointed I had not the 
least idea of applying for the post, and never dreamed 

219 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

that I should get it if I did. I had been very 
fortunate in my practice, and had, if anything, too 
much to do ; and I confess that working at high 
pressure by night as well as by day not only had no 
charms for me, but injured my health. The 
amount of travelling one did was a great strain 
on the nerves. I recollect in four consecutive days 
doing cases at Fleetwood, at Hull, at London, and 
then at Manchester. One wanted to be as strong 
as the proverbial horse to get through the work 
without a breakdown. About ten days before 
Whitsuntide, I was in a case in town in the Court 
of Appeal, and I happened to meet a well-known 
Lancashire member, who began discussing with me 
the resignation of Judge Heywood and the chances 
of the various candidates for his place. None of 
them seemed entirely to his liking, and he suddenly 
suggested that I should ask for it. So little did I 
know of the matter that I thought it was a condition 
precedent to the office that a barrister should be 
of ten years' standing, and to make sure about this we 
went across to my friend's chambers in the Temple 
and looked the matter up. It turned out to be 
seven years and thus made me eligible. 

Travelling home, the idea of regular hours of 
work and equally regular hours of leisure seemed to 
possess my mind, and I could think of nothing else. 
One would have to make sacrifices, no doubt, but 
the credit side of the imaginary balance-sheet 
seemed far heavier than the debit. So it was that, 
after some domestic debate, I wrote to the Right 

220 



THE PEARK 

Honourable James Bryce, who was then Chancellor 
of the Duchy of Lancaster, and told him that if he 
wished to appoint me as judge of the County Court, 
I was at his disposal. The only person I mentioned 
it to was my old friend Byrne, because I knew he 
was making application himself. The Whitsuntide 
holidays came along, and we went to Seascale, in 
Cumberland, and I heard nothing about the appoint- 
ment for more than a week. One Monday morning 
we were having breakfast at our hotel when my friend 
Charles Hughes, who was staying in the village, 
came in flourishing a morning paper, and saying, with 
mock reverence, " Good morning, your Honour." 
When we opened our letters there was a kind note 
from Mr. Bryce, appointing me to the judgeship. 
It had reached Manchester on Saturday, but Sea- 
scale in those days had no Sunday post. That was, 
I believe, very nearly Mr. Bryce's last official act 
as Chancellor of the Duchy. As Louis Aitken 
that genial companion who disguised his wit and 
learning in an obtrusive Lancashire accent and a 
downright utterance of homely truths declared 
the first time he met me in Manchester : " Another 
appointment of that kind would have ruined any 
Government." So they took Mr. Bryce away 
from the Duchy and made him President of the 
Board of Trade. 

I cannot say that I altogether enjoyed the change 
during the first twelve months of my judgeship. In 
the first place, I had a serious and not unexpected 
breakdown in health, and, secondly, I had the great 

221 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

misfortune to lose Mr. Registrar Lister, whose long 
experience of the Court and its working was invalu- 
able. I found, too, that judicial work is a very 
lonely business. From the moment of entering the 
side door in Byrom Street to the time one got out 
again one became an unpleasant official person. 
People " addressed " you instead of talking to you, 
and with unblushing sycophancy pretended that 
they believed you to possess a cyclopaedic knowledge 
of the law. How many times have I been told that 
legal cases were " within your Honour's recollection," 
or " your Honour will no doubt be thinking of the 
case of ' Jones v. Smith '," when counsel were well 
aware that it was long odds against the Court having 
in mind any case whatever. 

There are, of course, many advantages about a 
" peark " like a County Court, but the main differ- 
ence between it and my former work at the Bar was 
that one was an unfriendly, solitary job, whilst the 
whole spirit of the other was genial and sociable. 
However, I made one rule that was a great joy to 
me. It became a penal offence to send any paper, 
book, or document of, or connected with, the Court 
to my house. At last I was able to keep my work 
outside my home, and when I did get out of my cage 
and turn my head up Peter Street, I at least knew I 
was a free man until to-morrow morning. But 
if judicial work tends to make one morose, the 
good-fellowship that abounds in Manchester more 
than corrected the tendency. I have heard judges 
say that it is a mistake to live in the district in which 

222 



THE PEARK 

they work, but I confess I do not agree. During my 
seventeen years in Manchester I went about in clubs 
and to social gatherings of every kind, and I never 
remember being spoken to about a case or heard a 
case discussed in my presence. The sense and 
courtesy of all classes in Manchester made life very 
pleasant when working hours were over. 

One thoughtless request I do remember, which 
had an amusing sequel. A friend of mine coming 
down in the train we will call him Robinsori 
shouted across the carriage that he was summoned 
for to-morrow as a juryman, and as it was his mail 
day he wanted to be let off. I at once reprimanded 
him, and told him he would certainly be fined five 
pounds if he stayed away. The next day I called 
for the jury list and found " Robinson " at the 
bottom of the column. Taking a pencil I transferred 
him to the top, and when the list was called " John 
Robinson " came first, and I made him a most formal 
bow as the policeman led him into the box. As luck 
would have it, the case he was on lasted until 
7 o'clock at night, so his mail day had to go on with- 
out him. The next morning in the train I explained 
to him the disadvantages of asking favours of high- 
souled and upright judges, and he agreed that it was 
not a wise thing to do. But he consoled himself, he 
said, in two ways : "I had a very entertaining day, 
and, being away from the office, I saved several 
hundred pounds by not buying on what turned out 
to be a falling market." 

After the first few years we never had any jury 
223 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

cases, and for myself I think juries in the County 
Court are generally a mistake. There is too little 
time, and too many cases to try in the time, to deal 
with a jury case at proper length. I do not think I 
can fairly claim to be a great judge, but I do flatter 
myself that I am an uncommon common jury. And 
from a County Court point of view that is an asset. 
It requires some dramatic instinct to take by 
intuition the same view of facts that eight trades- 
men would take if they had heard the same evidence. 
To approach a subject full of a prejudice you have 
not got, but which, as a jury, you ought to have, and 
gradually by listening to your own judicial remon- 
strances to lay down the cherished prejudice you 
never really had, and still to let a little of it appear 
in the final sum you award that, I take it, is an 
attitude of mind not to be achieved without serious 
study. I think it may have been because I had more 
sympathy with the facts of life than with the legal 
aspect of affairs that Louis Aitken used to say in my 
praise, " that a common judge was quite as good a 
tribunal as a common jury." 

The work of the Manchester County Court was 
divided into days for the poor people's cases and 
days for the heavier work, which were printed in 
black and red on the calendars. This convenient 
system is at last finding its way into other places. 
I took a great deal of interest in the black-letter days, 
as they were called, for the smaller work, though 
trifling in amount, was often not trifling in the 
proportion of the amount to the weekly wage of the 

224 



THE PEARK 

litigants. If I have learned any lesson in the many 
days I have spent listening to the short and simple 
annals of the back street, it is that the law of 
imprisonment for debt bears very harshly on the 
working class. In season and out of season I have 
preached the injustice and inequality of the law in 
this matter, and we have had commissions and 
inquiries sufficient to reorganise the whole legal 
system of the State, but out of this groaning moun- 
tain not so much as a statutory mouse has yet 
proceeded. I should like to be still on my " peark " 
when the list of the day is called over without a 
single judgment summons in it. 

And I am not one of those who, because he is a 
magisterial or judicial person, thinks his mouth is 
closed as a citizen from reporting the evil things by 
which he is surrounded. It is true one can report 
them as one does to one's pastors and masters in 
Royal Commissions and elsewhere, but these high 
ones of the earth are too engrossed in greater affairs 
to attend to such a small matter as the sending to 
gaol of some eight or more thousand of the thriftless 
and shiftless of their fellow-countrymen. And one 
has the great army of the lower middle-class shop- 
keepers, who think it is to their advantage to give 
credit where there is no credit, and they are right up 
against reform ; and behind them stand the wholesale 
traders who sell to the little shopkeepers, but have 
the sense themselves to see that they get their money 
regularly on the second Tuesday of the next month. 
And I suppose those of us who are interested in this 

J.S. 225 Q 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

matter will go on uttering ineffectively our protests 
in evidence before commissions and in reviews and 
magazines and occasional addresses to students 
of social science until at last a public opinion is 
formed strong enough to be heard in the lobbies 
at Westminster. 

I have often wondered how many tons of waste- 
paper filter through the waste-paper basket and soli- 
dify into one grain of public opinion. But it is better 
so than that some tragedy should happen, some death 
in gaol or some horrid act of violence which would 
startle the comfortable classes into a recognition of the 
in j ustice of the system . However good and necessary 
a reform may be, it is probably not much use having 
it before the large majority of citizens are really ready 
for it. The working classes could abolish imprison- 
ment for debt at once, but some of their number think 
it enables credit to be obtained in times of labour dis- 
putes, and are listless about it ; the middle classes 
think that any form of compulsion to make the work- 
ing classes pay for the goods they sell to them is a just 
and righteous thing ; whilst as for the upper classes, 
the few I have come in contact with seem to think 
that imprisonment for debt, don't you know, was 
abolished, and that when a fellow was really " stony " 
I think I have the phrase right he went bank- 
rupt, don't you know, and started afresh. And that, 
indeed, is a true statement of the different way in 
which the English law treats the affairs of debtors, 
according to whether they be rich or poor for the 
poor man has no effective bankruptcy law. 

226 



THE PEARK 

And another thing that seems to me to bear very 
hardly on the workers, and makes it increasingly 
difficult for them to keep out of debt, is the heavy 
proportion of their income that goes in rent. If a 
man with 1,000 a year spent two hundred or two 
hundred and fifty in rent he would be regarded as 
extravagant. But that is what a working man has 
to do out of his slender income before he can find 
food and clothing for his wife and family. And the 
curious affair is that wherever you go, whether it be 
Manchester, Salford, Lambeth or Dartford, the 
problem seems to remain the same. Where, as in 
London, wages are rather better, rent is very much 
higher, as though in some weird economic way the 
fact that a man earns more money in London than 
he does in Manchester at the same trade entitles 
his landlord to a higher rent for even worse accom- 
modation. And how this is going to be remedied is 
for those professors of social economics who have 
studied the question to say, but one who has 
discussed with many thousands of poor folk their 
ways and means, and the burdens of their life, may 
at least point out what seems to be the fact, that in 
increasing the wage of a man, you do not make him 
necessarily a citizen with a better chance in life 
unless you can manage to stop the automatic 
increase of his rent. For the landlord, like the 
daughter of the horse-leech, on hearing of a rise in 
wages, cries, " Give ! Give ! " and there is nothing 
for it but to obey. 

And another thing which is constantly before my 
227 Q 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

mind in the work of the County Court is that, like 
all institutions that were intended in the first instance 
for the service of the poor, the County Courts have 
gradually interested themselves in the affairs of 
better-class people, and to some extent their earlier 
clients are being edged out. Of course, that is the 
history of many English institutions, and one must 
suppose that to some extent it is a natural evolution, 
and accept it as such. Pious Bishop Ridley was a 
suitor to Sir William Cecil " in our Master Christ's 
cause " to grant him the Palace of Bridewell, " that 
he might therein house the naked and hungry that 
starved in the London streets." This noble charity 
by natural evolution degenerated into one of the 
most degraded and brutal of prisons, as Hogarth has 
reminded us forever in one of his prints in " The 
Harlot's Progress." In the same way, if you read 
the early histories of many colleges and schools and 
charities, you will find that the pious founders had 
in their minds the advancement and interests of the 
poorer classes, but to-day the benefits of these 
institutions are almost entirely in the hands of the 
middle and upper classes. I daresay they make 
better use of them, and that it is all to the good that 
it should be so, but one cannot shut one's eyes to the 
fact that something of this sort has been the general 
history of our attempts to equip the poor with 
social institutions for their benefit. 

And although I am not against the making of the 
County Court a valuable district court for the 
settlement of disputes of importance, I cannot help 

228 



THE PEARK 

thinking that something might be done to make the 
courts of greater value to the poor. As at present, 
apart from the debt-collecting about which I have 
said my say, the Court is mainly used by the poor 
to settle very small and domestic quarrels. But 
so swollen have the rules and orders and forms of 
the Court grown, so intricate are its ways, that for 
an uneducated man to find his correct path among its 
mazes without a legal guide would be impossible. 
No doubt the Registrar and his clerks give every 
assistance in their power. Certainly the poor man 
who wants to maintain trover for a wheelbarrow 
cannot be expected to spend twenty-five shillings on 
a " County Court Practice " and read its thousand 
pages in search of the answer to the riddle of pro- 
cedure that the law has set him. Yet unless he 
employs a solicitor or casts his cares on the over- 
burdened chief clerk to the Registrar, I suppose 
that is what the State expects him to do. 

The County Court as a tribunal for doing justice 
between poor disputants is an ill-equipped machine, 
and, without doubt, if these poorer cases were 
tried by the judge on strict legal lines, and if he 
merely listened to the plaintiff and heard such 
portions of his and his friends' wandering narratives 
as came within the rules of evidence, the almost 
universal result would be to non-suit the plaintiff 
on the ground that he proved no case. But in 
practice this does not happen. The wind is 
tempered to the shorn lamb. The judge puts his 
legal telescope to his blind eye. He listens to 

229 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

everything and everybody and both sides speaking 
at once. He takes a hand at the game himself with 
such worldly knowledge of the man in the street 
as he happens to possess, and in the end gropes his 
way through a mass of prejudice and hearsay and 
hatred, malice and all uncharitableness, and con- 
veniently forgets that no on 3 has complied with this 
section of a statute or that rule or that order, and 
business of a kind is done. 

But it would be far more satisfactory if the affairs 
of smaller people were not litigated, or at all 
events not litigated until an effort had been made to 
bring the parties together and get them to agree to 
a compromise. For think of the cost of much of 
this small litigation and what it may mean to a 
working man, and how much ill-feeling as well as 
hard-earned money would be saved if the parties 
could be brought together in some Courts of Con- 
ciliation or Reconcilement, and were not permitted 
to go to law until, as a condition precedent, they had 
been before the County Court judge and satisfied 
him that there was no chance of a settlement, and 
he marked their papers " fit " for litigation. 

And though many will think this a revolutionary 
movement, yet in truth it is nothing of the sort. For 
the idea is as old as the hills and Paul thought it a 
disgrace, even to the Corinthians who were no 
great class, as I gather for brother to go to law with 
brother. What he would have written to Lancashire 
about the spectacle of three or four brothers and 
sisters wrangling in the County Court as to who 

230 



THE PEARK 

should pay for their father's funeral tea the 
sensible old man having died penniless I scarce 
like to think. Luckily Paul wrote no Epistles to 
the Lancastrians. For when passions are roused, 
family feuds are fought with a bitterness that few 
can understand whose duty has not forced them to 
witness the wretchedness of it. And the day of 
awakening comes with the taxation of costs and a 
sense that all that has been done has been to give 
way to an orgy of unholiness in a public place and 
make a great hole in savings laboriously acquired. 

But apart from the uncharitable nature of many 
law-suits let me set down the actual facts of one of 
the every-day cases which bring debt and ruin 
upon a home. A man had a dog which bit the child 
of a neighbour. The child was not greatly injured, 
but there was a small doctor's bill to pay and a 
certain amount of anxiety on behalf of the parents. 
These people chose solicitors. After a lengthy corre- 
spondence a claim was brought for 25 by the parents 
of the child. Counsel were engaged. Doctors gave 
evidence on either side. Ultimately the case went 
against the plaintiff, on the ground that he could not 
prove scienter, that is to say, that he did not satisfy 
the Court that the defendant knew that his dog had 
previously bitten someone else. 

Now one need not blame the lawyers. If each 
party believed in his own case and wanted to fight, the 
lawyers only did their duty according to the system 
under which they work. The result was disastrous. 
Each party was ordered to pay his own costs, 

231 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

which worked out at something over 15 apiece. 
In any case, as I remember it, the plaintiff could 
only have recovered a few. pounds, for the damage 
was but small. 

Now Paul's idea, and a valuable one, was summed 
up in the question "Is it so that there cannot be 
found among you one wise man who shall be able 
to decide between his brethren ? " Only I think 
he overlooked the natural distrust that the average 
man has of a lay arbitrator. I do not think it 
would be reasonable to expect two members of a 
Welsh chapel, for instance, to leave their dispute 
to a deacon. The deacon knows too much of their 
inner life to start with, and would be bound to be 
suspected of partiality in his judgment. Paul's 
idea of a Lay Court of Conciliation or Reconcile- 
ment was not practical politics in a work-a-day 
world. But when Brougham took up the idea and 
tried to get the House of Lords to help him put it 
into a business shape, one wonders that he got no 
assistance for so excellent a scheme. His plan was 
to make use of existing judges as conciliators, and the 
result of the combined teachings of the Saint and the 
Lord Chancellor seems to be that what you want is a 
sensible conciliator who shall also be a State official. 

For in the dog-bite affair recorded above 
supposing that there had been a Conciliation Court 
to which the plaintiff could have summoned the 
defendant, and both parties had appeared before 
the judge to talk it over a little discussion might, 
one would think, have brought the parties to under- 

322 



THE PEARK 

stand that the payment of the doctor's bill or some 
such course was a fair thing to do, and that pressing 
vague claims of damage could result in no useful 
purpose. And if the parties had agreed, they could 
have signed an agreement in the presence of the 
Conciliator, which, if not carried out, could after- 
wards be made an order of Court. But if the judge 
could not bring them to agree they could still go to 
law, and no great harm would have been done by 
their meeting. 

And in claims under the Workmen's Compensation 
Act there is good reason why some such course 
should be made compulsory. For when the Act was 
introduced, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain expected it to 
be an automatic scheme, and took credit for the 
government that " we have held it to be a first 
principle as well as one of our first objects to avoid 
litigation." There were to be no lawyers employed 
and no appeals were to be allowed. What has 
happened in fact everyone knows. The Bill was so 
altered in Parliament and by succeeding legislation 
as to flood the County Courts with litigation of an 
expensive and difficult nature, and to clog the 
Court of Appeal with endless discussions on what 
are from the insurance point of view and that 
is the business point of view trifling matters. And 
every day one is face to face with the pitiable 
spectacle of a working man, not necessarily a 
malingerer but a neurasthenic subject physically 
fit to work, or at least to get into condition to work, 
and yet not capable of exercising the necessary will 

233 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

power to do so, and gradually becoming more and 
more unfit. And the cause of the bulk of this is 
litigation. When a man is getting better and his 
mind should be turned towards work he has at his 
elbow a lawyer and a doctor, who, being human, 
have their scientific opinions biassed perhaps by the 
thought that only by carrying the case into Court 
can they hope to get any fees. The man is told 
it would be unwise to work both legally and physi- 
cally. What is he to do ? Is he to throw over his 
scientific advisers why should he ? Would you or 
I settle a case or abandon a claim against the advice 
of our lawyers ? Nor do I blame the lawyer. He 
is there to advise, and often without his advice the 
man could not recover his rights, and certainly 
could not maintain his rights in the Court of Appeal 
and on to the House of Lords. 

The lawyers are a necessary part of the scheme as 
it exists, and so are the doctors. They hinder the 
man from getting well and going back to work, but 
that is all part of the machine. The machine is not 
a bad one, and no one wants to see it scrapped. 
We want to return to the Chamberlain ideal and 
wheel our machine out of the Law Courts into the 
yard, and work it under the power of common 
sense. Only in that way can we escape some dis- 
honourable responsibility for that half-malingerer, 
that weak, insincere invalid, the miserable remains 
of what was once a good workman, which is such 
a common object of the County Court. 

I have no hesitation in saying that by a system 

234 



THE PEARK 

of conciliation 75 per cent, of the present litigation 
under the Workmen's Compensation Act might be 
stopped, to the great benefit of the community. I 
would allow no Workmen's Compensation Act case 
to go forward to litigation until employer and work- 
man had come in person or by lay deputy on the 
employer's behalf to discuss a way out. Many a 
workman would go back and try work again if he 
could go into a room and talk his affair over with 
a judge, and was assured that his interests would be 
cared for whilst he made the experiment. 

The scheme of workmen's compensation was 
intended by Mr. Chamberlain to be a businesslike 
and statesmanlike scheme of accident insurance 
to be administered by a County Court judge, 
acting as an arbitrator, with the assistance of a 
medical referee. There were, as I have said, to be 
no lawyers and no appeals, which to his business mind 
were merely things leading to " expense, annoyance, 
and irritation." The statesman desired and in- 
tended a scheme for the benefit of employer and 
workman based on peace and conciliation, but the 
lawyers have been too many for him, and to-day 
the Workmen's Compensation Act litigation is little 
better than a wild-cat legal gamble. To diagnose 
whether an accident arises out of or in the course 
of a workman's employment you want a legal mind 
combining the subtlety of a Jesuit with the 
discrimination of a laboratory professor. And even 
then you may fail if your mind is anything but an 
exact replica of two out of the three of those who 

235 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

will ultimately sit to hear the appeal. Nor is there 
indeed always safety in that, for there is the House 
of Lords to come and if you think the word 
" gamble " is too strong a word for the existing 
state of things, ring them up at Lloyds' and ask for 
the current rate of odds against any Workmen's 
Compensation Act appeal on its voyage from the 
Strand to Westminster. 

But it will be said, is not all this rather an attack 
on the writer's own profession ? I do not think so. 
I have tried to make it clear that I blame the 
system, and not the individuals who have to work it. 
And though I believe that any sort of Court of 
Reconcilement or Conciliation must in time do away 
with much litigation, I do not necessarily think that 
a bad thing for the profession. How often to-day 
do lawyers try and keep their clients from litigation 
and promote compromise to their own cost, to 
satisfy their high ideals of right action. I am far 
from thinking it desirable that we should keep alive 
a system of litigation that we believe harmful to the 
community because it brings in fees to ourselves. The 
spectacle in " Jarndyce v. Jarndyce," where " eighteen 
of Mr. Tangle's learned friends, each armed with a 
little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up 
like eighteen hammers in a pianoforte, make eighteen 
bows and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity," 
may have pleased the unthinking lawyer of the day, 
but Dickens, with prophetic foresight, knew more 
about it than the Bar. It had to be swept away. 
And has it ruined the Chancery Bar ? ask them in 

236 



THE PEARK 

Lincoln's Inn. The fact is that if we are to maintain 
in the face of better-educated and more thoughtful 
citizens the privileges and traditions of the Bar, we 
must satisfy ourselves and the world that the work 
we are doing is worthy, useful work beneficial to the 
community. When it fails to come up to that 
standard, it ought to be joyfully surrendered. 

Nor do I think that my suggestions would, even 
if they were carried out by a stroke of the pen, 
injure any practitioner to any serious extent. New 
problems are arising daily and new work is waiting 
to be done. But whether the results of conciliation 
would be to the injury of the profession or not, 
before anything is done the lawyers will have their 
say on it in the Houses of Parliament, where their 
number is legion, and where, as far as I can make 
out, the poor litigant, the client whose interests I 
am saying a word for to-day, is wholly unknown 
and unrepresented. 



CHAPTER XIV 

OVERTIME 

To play is for a man to do what he pleases or to do nothing to 
go about soothing his particular fancies 

CHARLES LAMB : " Letter to Bernard Barton." 

THAT idea of soothing your particular fancy gives 
to me the very clearest image of play and playtime. 
And most men's fancies take a deal of soothing, 
since man will fancy himself and his capabilities to 
be x, when his nearest and dearest could tell him, if 
they were not his nearest and dearest, that they are 
not even y, but something far nearer to a b c. 

And as long as a man does not fancy himself at 
his real work, but only in playtime, what does it 
matter ? For in a sane man it seems a natural 
attribute that he should dislike work he is peculiarly 
fitted for, and should hanker after jobs that he is 
naturally ill-equipped to perform. I always looked 
forward to what I called " overtime," when I could 
get away from briefs and law books, and put in a 
few solid hours spoiling beautiful hand-made paper 
with inharmonious water-colours, or writing plays 
and stories that nobody wanted to publish. Why 
I should have called it " overtime " I do not know, 
for real overtime is paid at least at the rate of " time 

238 



OVERTIME 

and a quarter/' but my overtime generally cost me 
money. Perhaps the idea I have in calling it 
" overtime " is that these tasks could only be done 
after the day's work was over, which is the only 
attribute my " overtime " had in common with the 
overtime of the working man. 

From my earliest days when to the dread and 
horror of my family I bought a fiddle and tried to 
learn to play it I have experienced a sane and 
healthy desire to spend my working hours on jobs 
I know I can never do, rather than in exercising 
capacities which have always been with me. I call 
it a sane and healthy tendency, because I find it to 
exist in nearly everyone who feels physically and 
mentally well. 

I once knew a plus 2 golfer who spent all his over- 
time away from the links in trying to grow tomatoes 
out of doors. Each season the climate which he 
spoke of as a horticultural bogey was at least 7 up 
on him before the first frost came and stopped the 
round. But he had many merry hours in his garden, 
and laughed gaily when he topped a budding plant 
with a careless approach with a hoe or was badly 
bunkered by a patent manure. What really bored 
him was the monotony of golf with eighteen perfect 
drives every round he played. It was only on those 
rare occasions when he pulled or sliced into the 
rough that I have known him, to smile and openly 
admit " that there was some fun in the old game, 
after all." 

I early discovered the delights of " overtime " in 

239 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

my father's library, where I was supposed to do my 
home-work whilst I was at King's College School. 
There I read all the great English writers with a 
larger enjoyment, because, like the Jew who ate the 
pork chop, I could feel that I was " sinning at the 
same time/' I think that library and its contents 
are entirely responsible for my taste in overtime. 
Shakespeare, Fielding, Smollett, Dickens, Thackeray, 
Mrs. Opie, and Aphra Behn. I remember the very 
format of each volume. I do not think there was a 
single dramatist or novelist of any mark in the 
English tongue that was unrepresented. 

Perhaps my favourite book was Cumberland's 
" British Theatre," with its forty-eight volumes. 
The stage-directions of the bloodiest of the melo- 
dramas were my favourite reading. Their only 
rival was the brief in some sporting case which lay 
on the table at which I worked. I would often slip 
the papers out of their red tape and peruse them far 
more diligently than I did in after days, when I was 
paid for doing so. How carefully I read the solicitor's 
story of the case. In later years I found that no 
self-respecting advocate ever studied these lengthy 
pages, well understanding that under an absurd 
legal system they are put there merely for the 
taxing master to appraise and allow in the form 
of costs. 

I remember Nash being amusingly scored off by a 
well-known solicitor, who rather plumed himself on 
his frugal literary gifts, and took much pains in the 
composition of the story of a case. He complained 

240 



OVERTIME 

to Nash that he never read these narratives, and 
Nash had assured him, out of polite respect to his 
hobby, that he always made a point of studying 
them and greatly admired them. Soon afterwards 
Nash was instructed by the solicitor to defend a 
client in a criminal case at the assizes, and a fat 
brief, marked " 30 guas " and beginning with a very 
lengthy narrative, was delivered to counsel. How 
far Nash read any of it I do not know, but he duly 
acquitted the prisoner. To Nash's annoyance and 
surprise for the solicitor was a most solvent and 
respectable person the fees were not paid. Nash's 
clerk made several efforts to solve the mystery, 
and was told that they had been paid to Mr. Nash 
at the assizes, but Nash knew that this was not 
so, and was very indignant with the solicitor 
about it. A month or two afterwards Nash met 
the solicitor in Cross Street, and going up to him 
expressed his views of the solicitor's conduct very 
roundly. 

" But I paid you at the assizes, Mr. Nash. ' 
" Nothing of the sort, sir, and you know it." 
" Did you read my story of the case, Mr. Nash ? " 
asked the solicitor. 

" Of course I did. I always read every word of 
my briefs/' said the unblushing, Nash. 

" H'm, that's very curious. I can't understand 
it," said the solicitor, with his head on one side, and 
his left eye half-closed. " I can't understand it at 
all, because on page three of that statement of the 
case I pinned a cheque for your fees, and hadn't 
J.s. 241 R 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

you better go back to chambers, Mr. Nash, and read 
that brief again ? " 

But when I was a lad the introduction to the brief 
was my first study. If it looked dull and boresome 
I dropped the papers speedily. How often in after 
life I wished I could deal with briefs in similar fashion. 
And as no child will ever read these pages I may 
confess that from the short years of my schooling the 
only things that remain with me are elegant extracts 
of forbidden reading ; forbidden not by my father, I 
should say in fairness to both of us, for he knew all 
about it and winked, but by my pastors and masters. 

I think it is Walt Whitman who expresses the 
thought that he would like to get away from 
mankind and " turn and live among the animals, 
they are so placid and self-contained." And I have 
the same kind of feeling about school-masters. The 
prosperous incompetence of the school-master is 
to me one of the great mysteries of life. When I 
lived among school-masters a cowardly idolatry, 
the offspring of tyranny and coercion, prevented 
me using opportunities to make careful observation 
of their mental and moral constitution. I had a 
vague knowledge that they were hopelessly wrong, 
but I had not the energy and ability to analyse the 
wherefore of it. Physically they were of varying 
size and beauty, but mentally they were absolutely 
and uniformly all alike. It never occurred to my 
young mind that this was a natural result of pouring 
youthful educational hot stuff into an old-fashioned 
mould and turning it out when it had grown cold. 

242 



OVERTIME 

There were, of course, many charming persons 

among them. What an excellent fellow was E . 

I have long forgiven him, but his offence was rank 
and smells to heaven. He it was who persuaded me 
for a whole term to spend my overtime on school 
books. I have some prizes on my shelves now, the 
result of my foolish complaisance. I have never 
looked inside them, but the bindings are handsome, 
and they serve as a memento mori of wasted hours 
that can never be replaced. The speculation was 
commercially sound, no doubt, but whilst I was 
doing it my conscience smote me. The next term 
I dropped it, and my good friend, with that rare 
prophetic insight that enables the school-master 
to foresee the unbetiding, filed my deficiency 
account in words that still have a haunting sound 
of failure : " has some ability, but no staying power/' 

It does not need an alphabet of scholastic degrees 
to enable a man to back a double event and find both 

of them to be losers. And yet old E 's epigram 

that looked at the time so like real stable information, 
was but a huckster's tip after all. Most of my rela- 
.tives and all my real friends, those who know best, 
have cheerily shaken their heads at the word ability 
did so, I remember, at the time and have admitted 

that he was wrong there, but even E himself 

would not now, I think, gainsay the fact that I have 
stayed the course. And yet my innate reverence for 
the school-master is such that I have an uneasy 
feeling that I ought to have so shaped my life that 
the words of the school-master might be fulfilled, and 

243 R 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

that in not having done so I am in danger of 
judgment. 

The early days of the Bar are all overtime. And 
the first big overtime job that I undertook, and 
perhaps the pleasantest I ever carried through, was 
the preparation of a version of " Dorothy Osborne's 
Letters/' the first edition of which I finished in 
my early days at Manchester, and published in 1888. 
I remember my joy when Mr. Comyns Carr, who then 
edited the English Illustrated Magazine, accepted 
my first essay on Dorothy Osborne. How I still 
reverence his critical acumen. The joys of winning 
a legal scholarship, or having that first brief at quarter 
sessions delivered to you by a real solicitor's clerk, 
have none of that tremens delirium about them that 
you attain when your literary essay is accepted in 
a courteous autograph from -a master in letters. 
The manuscript of " Dorothy Osborne's Letters/' 
like all great works, was refused by many of the 
leading publishers, and when it was published the 
book was an immediate success. It has been pirated 
in many countries, and will, I think, remain in the 
English library, not on account of any work of mine, 
but because of the peculiar charm of Mistress 
Dorothy's style in letter-writing. It was a satis- 
factory bit of " overtime/' 

My next book was a life of Macklin, the actor 
written for a series edited by William Archer. Mr. 
Lowe wrote a life of Betterton. Mr. Archer him- 
self wrote Macready, and then came my " Life of 
Macklin." For some reason or other that ended the 

244 



OVERTIME 

series. It was not half a bad book, and a friend of 
mine in Dublin says my chapter on the Irish stage 
has amused and entertained him for many pleasant 
hours in tracing out and confuting by authority the 
errors and inaccuracies it contains but, then, he 
admits that no other Saxon had ever dared to try 
and write such a chapter. 

And I suppose it is only right to enter on these 
time-sheets my journalistic work as overtime. I 
know nothing so exhilarating as journalism. If I 
was really to take to writing as a business, I should 
hire an upper chamber in some building which was 
gently rocked from below by a steady throbbing 
engine, and arrange for the smell of its oil, coupled 
with the aroma of printer's ink, to pervade the 
atmosphere, then having hired a whistling and 
insistent boy, with a raucous voice, to put his head 
in and shout " copy " at me every quarter of an 
hour, I should sit down to work, hopefully assured 
of a glorious " spate of style." For many years I 
wrote dramatic criticism and reviewed books, and 
wrote " shorts " and occasionally full-dress leaders 
for the Manchester Guardian. I do not think I had 
any very particular reputation in Cross Street, 
except for punctuality and dispatch. It is not every 
journalist who has even these humble attributes, 
but they were evidently well remembered of me. 

I mind meeting C. P. Scott one autumn morning 
some three years after I had been judge, as I was 
walking down to my work along the fragrant groves 
of Rusholme. He seemed somewhat disconsolate 

245 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

and told me his trouble. He had an advance copy 
of " Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Letters," and 
through illness there was no one in the office free 
to review it. Two columns about were wanted 
before going to press. " I wish, Parry," he said, 
with half a sigh, " that you were available." 

Of course I was available. The book, with its two 
volumes of over eight hundred pages, came down to 
the Court. I started it in the luncheon hour. I got 
at it again after the Court rose at about 4 o'clock, 
and before n at night I entered the office and 
was received with enthusiasm by a grateful sub- 
editor thirsting for copy. I compared my work the 
next day with that of some of the London cham- 
pions, the plus 4 men at the game. I had scooped 
out nearly all the tit-bits, and I had done more. 
I had discovered that Mrs. Browning's baby was a 
good half -column, and the other fellows had missed 
that delightful child altogether. Moreover, I had 
not only written my review, but I had copied out all 
my extracts, for I never could bear the thought of 
mutilating a book, and so the volumes remain with 
me as a pleasant memory of a happy day's overtime. 
For when I had had some supper I had missed the 
last tram, and dreaming that I was still in the days of 
my youth and could not afford a hansom, I had a 
joyful walk home in the moonlight. 

And long before that, whilst I was at the Bar, 
Hulton, the elder, came into my chambers and asked 
me to write some articles for the Sunday Chronicle. 
For some reason or other a new hand was suddenly 

246 



OVERTIME 

wanted. The articles had to be a column and a 
turn-over. Any subject might be written upon as 
long as the writing was tense, vivid and entertaining 
and the matter was of popular interest. The 
manuscript had to be ready by Friday. I doubted 
my capacity for the task, but Hulton told me that 
he had been assured by that kind-hearted doyen of 
the craft, Spencer of the Guardian, that I was all 
right. I bowed to his verdict, for to me Spencer's 
was the last word about journalistic matters. 

I shall never forget that week. Nothing happened. 
Day succeeded day in stagnant succession, no one of 
importance said or did anything. There was not a 
crime or a law-suit, or even a political speech in 
which one could pretend an interest. On the 
Thursday morning I rose early and rushed at the 
newspapers. The same dismal outlook of barren 
nothingness. I passed the canal and looked at its 
waters lovingly. Was I to disgrace myself by going 
back on the verdict of Spencer ? It seemed impos- 
sible that I could do that and live. 

About midday, whilst sitting in chambers with a 
blank sheet of paper before me, symbolic of the 
mind within, my clerk brought in some papers, and 
in a diffident off-hand manner said casually, " I 
suppose you've heard the news ! " 

" News," I cried testily, " there is none." 

He turned on his heel. 

' What is it, then ? " I caUed after him. 

" Only Mr. Parnell's dead ! " 

I had a real reverence f or Parnell, but to undertakers 
247 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

and journalists death is indeed the reaper, and 
the poor gleaners cannot be blamed that they are 
thankful when the season brings them their only 
harvest. In truth I never wrote with greater sense 
of responsibility nor with a more eager desire that 
every word and sound should toll the message of his 
life into the hearts of my readers. Heaven knows 
how far I succeeded. It was enough for me that 
Spencer nodded approval. And to the quiet homage 
for the statesman that most of us have to-day there 
comes into my heart a thrill of grateful emotion 
whenever I hear the name of Parnell. 

I wrote those Sunday Chronicle articles for some 
time, but it was a worrying task, and my work at the 
Bar began to creep into the overtime, and ultimately, 
like Aaron's rod, swallowed up all other pursuits. 
But I look back to the task with pleasure, because it 
enabled me to write an article to the glory of Charles 
Hopwood and his policy, and I still possess a faded 
letter, full of hope for the future and thanks for the 
help that had been given to the cause he had so much 
at heart. Of course, I had known Hopwood as a 
leader on circuit for some years, but after the 
Chronicle article he began to talk to me about his 
various views and plans of reform in a way that was 
deeply interesting. 

And to go back to my earliest recollection of 
Hopwood I must go back to when I first joined 
the circuit, and recount an early journey to Lan- 
caster Assizes with Falkner Blair. He had been 
retained to defend a wretched man who, in a fit of 



OVERTIME 

despair, had taken the lives of his three children. 
It was a very sad case, and the only line of defence 
was insanity. When the train stopped at Wigan a 
gentleman got into our carriage for a smoke. He 
got into conversation with Blair, and hearing of the 
murder case expressed his desire to attend the trial. 
He turned out to be the Reverend E. Burnaby, a 
brother of the celebrated Captain Burnaby, hero of 
the " Ride to Khiva/' and we invited him to join us 
at Bar mess. He was on his way to the Lake District, 
but his interest in trials made him gladly accept our 
invitation, and we appointed him a sort of honorary 
chaplain to the mess during the three or four days 
he was with us. 

That chance meeting saved the life of Blair's 
client. Blair made an eloquent speech in defence 
of the murderer, but the medical evidence was con- 
flicting, and Mr. Justice Cave did not sum up for a 
verdict of insanity. He left the matter to the 
mercies of the jury, who could not see far beyond 
the horrible fact and circumstances, and without 
long consideration brought in a verdict of guilty. 
Burnaby was strongly convinced that the man was 
insane, and expressed his intention of moving for 
a reprieve. The means of the man's friends had 
been exhausted in preparing the defence, and had 
it not been for Burnaby's energy nothing would 
have been done. Burnaby started a local petition, 
and later on followed the circuit to Manchester, 
where he interviewed Cave, and there he met 
Hopwood. Hopwood made a most careful inquiry 

249 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

into the facts of the case, and having satisfied 
himself that it was a case for the interference of 
the Home Office, assisted Burnaby with his counsel. 
Under his direction the matter was carried to a 
successful issue. A further examination of the 
prisoner was made, and he was pronounced to be 
insane, and sent to Broadmoor. 

This was my first experience of Hopwood, and as I 
grew to know him better I came to the conclusion 
that not only was he a very kind-hearted and 
merciful man, but he was also one of the wisest 
and most sensible of judges in a criminal court that 
I ever appeared before. People were very apt in 
those days to look upon him as a visionary and 
enthusiast, but the fact is the administrators of the 
criminal law in all its harshness were the real 
visionaries, for they kept their eyes straining after a 
set of affairs fast passing away instead of keeping a 
brave, healthy outlook on the actual facts before 
them. 

Nowadays, with our Criminal Court of Appeal and 
our humaner rendering of the criminal code, it is 
difficult to understand what horrible things were 
done twenty-five years ago. But by no means let 
us believe that the judges who did these things were 
themselves cruel and harsh. It is so difficult when 
you have grown up with a system to see that there 
is anything fundamentally wrong in it. It seems so 
dangerous to reform or to alter existing law.; that 
have apparently worked so well for years. I do not 
think the judges who sentenced young men and 

250 



OVERTIME 

women to be hanged for theft, nor the later judges 
who transported hundreds of small offenders to the 
Antipodes, were cruel men. Certainly I know that 
some of those judges who were harshest in their 
sentences in the earlier eighties were kindhearted 
gentlemen in action and sentiment. They believed 
in the system. They thought it was a good and 
just system. It was Charles Hopwood, with his 
deeper insight, who showed them they were wrong. 

When Hopwood became Recorder of Liverpool he 
was able for the first time to put his principles into 
execution. The kind of thing that had been going 
on all over Lancashire was instanced in one of his 
charges to the grand jury after he had been a year 
or two in office. " A woman/' he said, " pleaded 
guilty before me of stealing some articles of little 
value. I looked at the record of her history. She 
had just come out after three several sentences of 
penal servitude a poor, broken-down, miserable 
being. Her first severe sentence anterior to the 
above was one year's imprisonment for stealing a 
pound or two of butter. Her first seven years' 
sentence was for stealing some trifling quantity of 
butter again. Her second seven years was for 
stealing some butcher's meat. From this she had 
been out a month and was again committed and 
sentenced to another seven years for stealing a duck 
from a poulterer's shop. Twenty-two years for 
five or ten shillings' worth of food. It calls to mind 
Hood's passionate cry, ' That bread should be so 
dear, and flesh and blood so cheap.' Every one of 

251 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

these offences points to the pressure of extreme 
want. I gave her a slight punishment and have 
never seen her since." 

And that is what happened in practice It was 
found that very many of these petty criminals 
pleaded guilty at Liverpool Sessions, received a light 
sentence, and came out with a hope and intention, 
often fulfilled, of leading honest lives. Others, of 
course, fell again and again into bad ways, but 
those, he argued, were really persons who wanted 
some form of asylum rather than a gaol, where their 
feeble will power could be protected from the 
temptations of the world. These long terms of 
penal servitude for petty thefts were survivals of 
the old criminal code. In the middle age as thief 
was hard to catch, and probably when he was caught 
the best use to put him to was to hang him. Nowa- 
days the thief is comparatively easy to catch, and 
therefore the hanging of him when caught ceases to 
be a sensible action. One of Hopwood's arguments 
was that at his sessions prisoners pleaded guilty and 
gave no trouble to the prosecutor, whereas in the 
day^ of harsh sentences prisoners pleaded not guilty 
and juries hesitated to convict. Another of Hop- 
wood's reasons for weighing carefully the length of a 
sentence was as he often reminded us that every 
year, every month, nay, every day that is added to a 
prisoner's sentence is too often a year or a month or 
a day added to the misery of guiltless women and 
children, whose lives and happiness depend on the 
return of the wretched men whose liberty is forfeit. 

252 



OVERTIME 

I have often heard Hopwood discuss these 
matters, and always with profit to myself. The 
mere fact that such long sentences could be defended 
was, to him, evidence that the passing and witnessing 
of such sentences led to a moral deterioration a 
hardening of the moral nature of both judges and 
spectators. I think this is true. We have recog- 
nised the truth of it in relation to public executions, 
and there is no doubt that to be a part of the working 
machine of the criminal law blunts the edge of 
compassion. Further, one effect of long sentences 
on prisoners was to make them commit worse crimes 
and to resist capture by violence. That is an aspect 
of criminal policy that is apt to be overlooked by 
those who clamour for harsher and stronger measures 
against evil-doers. 

One of Hopwood's best attributes was that calm, 
reasoning detachment of mind which enabled him to 
understand the point of view of the poorer classes on 
our administration of justice. What the bottom 
dog sees when he puts his nose over the dock and 
blinks at the learned Recorder and his brother 
magistrates of the city, is a very different picture of 
Justice from that which we behold so complacently 
from our side of the railing. To him it seems a mere 
mockery to behold Justice, well fed and prosperous, 
blind to the many frauds and much misconduct of 
its own class, pompously and Pharisaically denounc- 
ing the less guilty, the mere stealing of some- 
thing to eat or something to clothe, by sentences 
which should be reserved for real and atrocious 

253 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

crime. Certainly, it makes one uneasy to remember 
how many successful and fraudulent schemes have 
swept away the savings of the working classes into 
respectable broadcloth pockets even magisterial 
pockets and the law has found no remedy and no 
punishment. But the scandal is not a new one, 
and is well sanctioned by precedent. Our fore- 
fathers rhymed it, in their easy-going way : 

You prosecute the man or woman 

Who steals the goose from off the common, 

But leave the larger felon loose 

Who steals the common from the goose. 

Hopwood was a much-abused reformer, but he 
kept a stout heart, and went his way remitting 
hundreds upon hundreds of years of imprisonment 
in mercy to his fellow-creatures. There is no 
evidence that his methods injured any class of the 
community. He preached the cause of criminal 
appeal to deaf ears, but since he has gone we are all 
converts to his view, and wonder how we could have 
hindered the reform so long. What was it that 
began to awaken Lancashire folk to the belief that 
Hopwood had not only a warm heart, but a clear 
head, and was talking business sense ? Sometimes I 
think it was the statement in one of his later charges 
that in not inflicting long sentences he had already 
saved the taxpayer 28,000. If there is one thing 
Lancashire does understand it is figures. 

Looking back on my recollections of the men on 
circuit, I think he was undoubtedly the greatest man 
I knew. I say great, inasmuch as he fulfils Long- 

254 



OVERTIME 

fellow's words, for his life indeed reminds us of the 
greater possibilities of our own humbler lives. Even 
now that he has departed his footsteps re-echo 
along the hopeless corridors of the gaol as of one who 
brought glad tidings to the oppressed. When the 
social history of the nineteenth century comes to 
be written the man who, by his fearless example and 
persevering energy, proved to society that the 
existing treatment of the smaller criminal was 
unnecessarily cruel will have a higher place than 
many more ambitious reformers. 

And in spite of his tenacity and the outspokenness 
of his unpopular opinions we all loved him on 
circuit, though not all of us were his disciples, and 
I shall never forget the cheers of laughter and 
delight that went up when an Irish colleague thus 
concluded an after-dinner peroration in his honour : 
" Hop wood has indade taught us what a beautiful 
thing it is to temper mercy with justice/' 

After all, like many a " bull," it really expresses 
very clearly what Hopwood was doing. 

And though I have never more than half believed 
the extravagant claims of the almost mesmeric 
power of the Press over the common horde of us, 
yet as a mere " man in the street " to use a phrase 
that Greville brought from Newmarket I have seen 
enough of the inner chambers of journalism to know 
that if a journalist may not do much to educate 
the public he can do something towards the educa- 
tion of himself. The discussions you enter into with 
men of all parties, the books you have to read, and 

255 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

the plays you cannot stay away from, ought to 
cultivate in you a better sense of charity. If it does 
not, then the fault is in the seedling and not in the 
soil. 

I have never been under any delusion about the 
scribendi cacoethes. It is not a pleasant disease, but 
it has comparatively good points about it. When 
the fit is upon you, you do not worry your family 
and your neighbour with the details of it, as you do 
when you have an attack of the spleen, or the 
rheumatism, or the slice, or the pull, or whatever 
recent manifestations of neuritis you may be suffer- 
ing from. You only wish, like any other well- 
mannered sick mammal, to be left quietly and 
undoubtedly alone till the fever leaves you. I 
know I have wasted a lot of my spare time in writ- 
ing ; it soothes my particular fancies, it is the form 
of indolent amusement that I enjoy. 

I daresay if I had tackled the higher things of life, 
and given the industry of my overtime to more 
serious pursuits, I could have reduced my golf 
handicap below the mediocre twelve at which it 
stands, or lost more money on horses than I have 
on books. But this I can say with honesty, that 
when I write finis on the last page, and my time is 
over, the best of it has been the " overtime/' 



256 



CHAPTER XV 

PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

Oh Lord ! Thou kens what zeal I bear, 
When drinkers drink, and swearers swear, 
And singing there, and dancing here, 

Wi' great and sma' ; 
For I am keepit by thy fear, 

Free frae them a'. 

BURNS : " Holy Willie's Prayer." 

WHEN I was a small boy I liked above all things 
the stories about Pharisees and Publicans. Phari- 
sees, I think, were connoted in my mind with school- 
masters. Publicans, on the other hand, were a 
mysterious, jovial people given to gluttony and 
wine-bibbing. The latter I knew nothing about, 
but the gluttony I forgave. I remember a pang of 
disappointment when I discovered in older years that 
Publicans were connected with the Inland Revenue. 

In China I believe nearly all morals are imparted 
by means of fables, and it is the story-telling depart- 
ment of our early teaching that leaves us with 
something tangible which we can use in after life 
as a bobbin whereon to wind the weft of our own 
thoughts. And this distinction of Pharisee and 
Publican remains with me so far a reality as to 
stand for something which the words themselves 
of course do not mean. They are convenient symbols 
for the class who want mankind to walk along the 

j.s. 257 s 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

path of mechanical obedience, and the class who are 
out to realise the best the world can give ; the class 
who condemn themselves and their fellow-creatures 
as miserable sinners, and the class who not only love 
to be merry and wise, but are ready to sink a certain 
amount of wisdom in the interests of merriment. 
William Fisher, of Mauchline, was a typical Pharisee, 
and Robert Burns, who immortalised him, was the 
greatest of the Publicans. 

And though I agree that there is no historical 
fitness in my use of the term Publican, I think the 
Pharisee is a continuing social type and probably 
as eternal as the hills themselves. That is to say, it 
will require some new geological period to shake him 
off the earth, and he will not depart until he can no 
longer be of service to the world. For my more 
recent reading about the Pharisee has led me to 
modify my childish imaginings. To-day I have a 
great respect for the Pharisee. I have learned that 
with all his faults he was a very respectable, classy 
Israelite. He knew that he was set apart from the 
common herd, and he was proud to be an abstainer 
and ascetic, as if these things were good in them- 
selves. His ideal of life was to have a lot of meddling, 
fussy laws of outward conduct, and not only to obey 
them scrupulously himself, but to persecute others 
who did not. Not an amiable character, perhaps, 
but at least sincere and honest. Moreover, he knew 
no better. Whether there was the same excuse for 
the Pharisee of Manchester in the year of our Lord 
eighteen hundred and ninety is a doubtful point. 

258 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

Not that I would like to see or am likely to see 
a city bereft of Pharisees. A few to sanctify and 
give general tone and outward respectability are 
as necessary to Manchester as lace curtains to a 
suburban villa. My grumble is that in Manchester 
there are too many Pharisees to the square yard. 
They capture and run organisations that were made 
for better things. They make it impossible for the 
average wicked citizen to take part in their good 
works, they bring disrepute upon the city by their 
vagaries on the house-tops, and they rouse up a 
great deal of hatred, malice, and uncharitableness 
in fighting with great ability and vehemence against 
the right of the harmless, necessary citizen to amuse 
himself in his harmless, necessary way. 

Many will remember an historic quarrel between 
two old friends who were engaged in very doubtful 
municipal transactions, and how they made it up 
in a Wesleyan chapel, and one put 50 in the plate 
as a token of regret for having uttered naughty 
words about the other. By the more respectable 
class of Manchester that action was regarded as 
being a natural and right expression of apology. If it 
was earnest and sincere it had a folk-lore resemblance, 
I suppose, to the sacrifice, or burnt offering. By 
the elect it was quoted as a very beautiful act of 
retribution. To one like myself, outside the circle, 
it was not perhaps actual evidence of conspiracy 
to commit fraud, but it was at least a beacon light 
warning of a dangerous shore. I remember prose- 
cuting an embezzler at Lancaster who always prayed 

259 S 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

with his victims before he took their money. Whalley, 
the famous Blackburn solicitor, who swindled his 
hundreds, was a famous prayer-monger, and in all 
those doubtful societies and associations which are 
so popular in Lancashire, and through which the 
savings of the working class are transferred to the 
pockets of their elders and betters, there is generally 
a halo of holiness surrounding prominent members of 
the board. And as long as popular opinion is in 
favour of the Pharisee, and will invest in his business 
concerns because he is a Pharisee, so long Manchester, 
with its simple, saving working class, is bound to 
have more than her fair share of the race. 

It has been a very interesting occupation with me 
during the last twenty-five years to watch the con- 
stant dispute between the Pharisee and the average 
citizen, and though the contest is by no means over 
yet, I am glad to be able to chronicle that up to 
now the Pharisee is several down. And that phrase 
reminds me of his attitude towards Sunday golf. 
The Pharisee, of course, did not want to play golf 
on Sunday, but a large majority of golfing citizens 
did, therefore it was an evil thing to do, and they 
must be protected against themselves. At one club 
where a meeting was held and feeling ran rather 
high, a humorist moved as an amendment "That 
Sunday golf be not compulsory." The leading 
Pharisee the sect have no sense of humour pro- 
tested eloquently that no body of men could compel 
him to play golf. The humorist drily pointed out to 
him that a careful reading of the proposed rule would 

260 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

show that they did not intend to compel him. Then, 
amidst laughter and cheers, it became a rule of the 
club, and, as far as I know, it is a rule to this day. 

What an excellent, sane rule it is. Your 
Pharisee is always compelling you not to do this 
and not to do the other. What a calm, dignified 
way of meeting him to place on record the common 
law of the land that Sunday golf is not compulsory. 
Of course, Sunday golf won all along the line, one 
reason being that golf is a rich man's amusement, 
and that young Master Pharisee, when he was down 
from Oxford, would have a round with his friends 
on Sunday afternoon, and that made the governor's 
position peculiarly ridiculous. But wait until the 
working classes demand their outdoor amusements on 
the Sabbath, and you will see a gathering of the 
sect worthy of Manchester in the palmiest days of 
Pharisaism. 

The fight over the Sunday papers had been fought 
and won before I came to Manchester, but I remem- 
ber a little skirmish started by Canon Nunn in the 
form of a protest made against the boys shouting 
papers on Sunday. Now, town noises are most 
people's aversion, and if this had been a real attack 
on unnecessary noise it would have been reasonable 
enough. But it did not seek to stop Church bells 
or boys shouting papers on Monday or Tuesday, 
and was really only an effort to inconvenience 
those who preferred to read the sermons of Hubert 
by their own fireside rather than to listen to the 
parsons in an uncomfortable church. The Sunday 

261 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

paper is not, perhaps, the highest ideal of 
journalism, but it is to many the only news- 
paper of their week. It is to the discredit of the 
Pharisee that he has put every obstacle in the 
way of the Sunday paper to prevent it from 
developing into a bigger and more useful institution 
than it already is. 

But one's heart bleeds for the poor Pharisee 
when the theatre is mentioned. I remember some 
Bolton Guardians passionately endeavouring to 
hinder the little workhouse children from seeing a 
Christmas pantomime. One asserted that theatres 
" brought ruin to thousands/' and another that 
" he could not ask God's blessing on a child whom he 
took to the theatre." Fortunately, there was a 
majority of sinners among the Guardians, the holy 
men were defeated and the little children were 
suffered to see the pantomime. 

One of the wildest outbursts of fanaticism that I 
have ever witnessed arose over the licensing of the 
Palace of Varieties. To anyone who had lived 
in a healthier and more normal civilisation the 
affair seemed impossible. For what was the 
situation ? Manchester had a few old-fashioned, 
out-of-date music-halls and a very large number of 
singing-halls attached to public-houses not the 
most desirable places of entertainment. The direc- 
tors of the Palace of Varieties proposed to erect a 
large modern music-hall and give the best entertain- 
ment of that kind that could be given. It was a 
London company, and, from a business point oi 

262 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

view, it made a mistake in not interesting Manchester 
men in the company in a business sense. But 
there was no doubt that such a hall was badly 
wanted by the general body of citizens, and that the 
men who were going to run the show would never 
allow any performance that the average Manchester 
citizen would not like to see, just as his average 
London brother did. You would have thought 
that any citizen of foresight would have welcomed 
such a change. For years the magistrates and 
rulers of the city had provided this class of enter- 
tainment in most undesirable places, and the 
complacent Pharisee passed by on the other side ; 
it did not come between the wind and his nobility. 
But this " centre of vice/' as a prominent Pharisee 
called it, was to be in the Oxford Road. It was 
to be open and honest, and that was its offence. The 
Pharisee knew that the Manchester citizens were 
evil people, that the music-hall was going to be an 
evil thing, and, therefore, certain to be popular 
among evil people, and so he opposed it with a 
vitality of strenuous abuse that was the admiration 
of all who take pleasure in such manifestations. 

The earnestness of the crusade was beyond dispute, 
and the bed-rock principle of it seemed to be a firm 
belief in original sin. The youth of Manchester, 
as I gathered from letters of the protectors of 
morals, is naturally evil and very prone to vice and 
immorality. Once it strays from a Sunday school 
into a music-hall it directly takes to excessive 
drinking and other immoralities and crime. The 

263 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

regime of the Sunday school in no way renders the 
patient immune from these results. 

In the interests of this hopeful class of youth, 
said the Pharisee, the music-hall must be shut. The 
fact that there are a large number of normal, healthy, 
young citizens who take no harm in music-halls was 
overlooked. For weeks before the licence was 
applied for the correspondence rolled on. Letters 
in favour of the Palace were generally unsigned, as 
employees whose employers or directors were of the 
ruling sect had to be cautious. 

Nearly every church and chapel organisation went 
against the improvement of music-hall performances. 
I remember one notable exception. The Rev. W. S. 
Caiger, rector of St. Mark's, had the pluck to stand 
up against the overwhelming torrent of holiness 
that poured through the newspapers. " Mr. Price- 
Hughes," he wrote, " talked of the wickedness of 
men who make a gain out of the exhibition of ballet 
girls. A ballet girl who is fairly proficient in her 
profession is in a far safer moral position than the 
young girls I watched the other day making 
flannel shirts at tenpence the dozen." That was a 
cap that would have fitted more than one leading 
Pharisee, but the wearing of it might have obscured 
his halo. 

The legal history of the licence is not worth 
reporting. Licensing by magistrates is not a very 
exact branch of scientific law. There was the usual 
canvassing and peaceful picketing by the Pharisees 
and their opponents. In the first round the former 

264 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

won, and one of their leaders called for a " great 
meeting of united prayer and thanks to God for His 
divine favour to our city." I do not think this was 
held. There was then a larger session. Gully 
applied, Sir John Harwood was in the chair, and the 
licence was gained by 33 to 27. Thus on Whit- 
Monday, 1891, Manchester possessed a first-rate 
music-hall. Since then others have been built and 
opened to the general benefit of weary citizens who 
are fond of innocent amusement. And nowadays 
the Pharisees sometimes patronise them, and so 
" all's well that ends well." 

And the whole attitude of mind of the English 
Pharisee towards the inn and the tavern is the most 
incomprehensible affair to the average citizen. One 
would have thought that an endeavour would be 
made to have the inn a place of cleanliness, beauty, 
and good repute, where relaxation and bright 
amusement and music might be a God-send to 
hard-working people. But generations of magis- 
trates have decreed that the workers are to have 
their drink surrounded by every discomfort. Magni- 
ficent hotels and restaurants with music and dancing 
are only for the rich. All this is, of course, done in 
the great cause of temperance, and as Mr. Balfour 
said, " love of temperance is the polite name for 
hatred of the publican." In the upper and middle 
classes the altered manners of the day in relation to 
strong drink are not due to shutting down public- 
houses and degrading those that are left open. 
Legislation is never likely to achieve any great moral 

265 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

reform, nor are the licensing magistrates, as a rule, 
administrators of much sweetness or great light. 

Had they been so I think they would have noticed 
that in records of English habits and English 
character the inn stands for nearly as much as the 
church in the social life of the people. Those of us 
who have plenty of house room do not quite recog- 
nise how an inn may be the one possible meeting- 
place for friends in hours of recreation. How short- 
sighted, then, to forbid its expansion, to make it 
uncomfortable and degrading. In the literature of 
our country the inn is very rarely spoken of with 
disrespect. It were easy to quote passage after 
passage, from the holiest literature to the lightest, of 
the high place that the inn and what it represents 
occupies in the minds of the best Englishmen. 
Licensing magistrates should overhaul their Bibles 
for the right references, and " when found, turn the 
leaf down." Doctor Johnson puts it in a phrase when 
he says : " No, sir ; there is nothing which has yet 
been contrived by man by which so much happiness 
is produced as by a good tavern or inn." He then 
repeated with great emotion Shenstone's lines. 
The last verse is well remembered : 

Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round, 
Where'er his stages may have been, 

May sigh to think he still has found 
The warmest welcome at an inn. 

The spirit of freedom and social comfort that 
runs through all the English writing about inns is a 
good thing to foster in itself. And in whose interest 

266 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

is it suppressed ? Not in the present-day interests of 
the working man, but at the behest of the Pharisees, 
who have added a commandment of their own, 
" Thou shalt not permit alcohol," and who believe 
that they can by associating drink with degradation 
and discomfort put an end to its use. It was 
Charles Kingsley who solemnly warned the teeto- 
talers that they were " simply doing the devil's 
work/' As he said with much foresight and 
wisdom, " I dread the spirit of teetotalism, because 
it will beget that subtlest of sins, spiritual pride and 
Pharisaism. Its founders, like the first founders of 
every ascetism may be, and as far as I have conversed 
with them are, pure, humble, and self-denying men. 
So were the Fakeers, the first Mohammedan ascetics, 
the first monks, the first Quakers . . . but after a few 
generations the self-avenging Nemesis comes, the evil 
spirit drops his mask and appears as Pharisaism." 

But if he could have lived to see the work of the 
licensing benches of to-day, how they make it 
daily more impossible to run an inn or tavern on 
right lines, bright, respectable, large, airy, and 
clean, with all reasonable recreations for its patrons, 
Kingsley would have been able to give the Evil One 
his due for the work of his adherents. Probably the 
boldest and best solution of our difficulties would 
be Free Trade, a high rateable value of premises 
and reasonable police supervision. There could 
not, one would think, be a better field for practising 
Free Trade principles if you really believe in 
them than in the trade of our national beverage. 

267 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

It seems little less than a scandal that new licences 
for experimental purposes are practically unobtain- 
able, and that the working classes are shut out of a fair 
enjoyment of comfort and decency in tavern accom- 
modation, whilst the supply of luxuriously appointed 
hotels and restaurants for the upper classes knows 
no bounds. 

And there is another new sin that the Pharisee 
regards with peculiar horror when it manifests 
itself among the working classes in any of its popular 
forms the sin of gambling. I remember when 
Bernard Vaughan preached a sermon in Manchester 
to show that betting was not in itself sinful, the 
whites of many Nonconformist eyes were turned 
appealingly to heaven. Heaven gave no sign in the 
matter, and we may take it the appeal was dismissed. 
For what can be sounder than the Publican view of 
this and other matters, namely, that eating, drinking 
and wagering are not in themselves sinful, but that 
the sin comes in with the excess. Gluttony, 
drunkenness and gambling if we use the last word 
only in its expression of excess those are the sins ; 
and even a Pharisee would not be too strict about 
eating, for something like gluttony has ever been 
attendant upon the profession of piety. 

For my part, so far from forbidding children 
to bet, I should teach them how to do it prettily. 
A round game, say Pope Joan, played for fish 
the engraved mother-of-pearl variety for choice 
at which children learn to lose or win in a 
sweetly mannered and unselfish way would always 

268 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

make, I think, a charming moral lesson. I remember 
my father had strong views about the importance of 
everyone being taught to bet or gamble, if you 
prefer the word in youth. My brother and I had 
always to play whist against our parents for 
farthing points twopence a bumper which had to 
be paid when we lost out of our own pocket-money, 
and our fellow-gamblers exacted their winnings to 
the uttermost farthing. 

My father himself admitted that this was, for us, 
excessive gambling, but then there were not in those 
days many serious financial calls upon our means. I 
should not care to-day to risk so large a proportion 
of my weekly income on the hazard of the card. 
But the point is that if you learn to gamble for 
definite sums at definite games you can easily 
content the wagering spirit that is within you 
without rushing into excess. And think how well it 
would be if the schools and Universities turned out 
lads capable of leading their fourth best. Surely a 
man is a better citizen whose powers of observation 
have been sufficiently developed to enable him to 
see a call for trumps, and is not the eleven rule as 
near to the business of life as the rule in Shelley's 
case ? At the University a good professor of whist 
might make his chair self-supporting by playing 
with his pupils for very moderate points. How 
few professors do that in classics, theology, or even 
the sciences. The more the matter is gravely con- 
sidered the clearer it is that gambling requires 
educational stimulus rather than legislative restraint. 

269 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

It wants the Publican's treatment rather than the 
Pharisee's. 

What a far better world it will be for the English 
workman when he is invited to play his rubber in a 
neat restaurant after the manner of the Belgian who 
orders his beer and his jeu-de-bac, and rattles the dice 
with noisy merriment on the marble tables. Why 
should not the municipality set up a sixpenny, or, if 
you will, a penny totalizer on the racecourse, and 
abolish the yelling crowd of bookmakers, who by 
some Pharisaical interpretation of the law are 
encouraged to carry on their trade upon a racecourse 
because it is not a place within the meaning of the Act ? 

What moves the Pharisee to roll in the dust and 
groan about gambling is difficult to understand. 
For in every business transaction in life there is an 
element of gambling. When the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer promotes a great scheme of health 
insurance he invites his customers, in the phrase of 
the ring, " to buy money," and calls out the odds 
as nine to four on the field. He knows the gambling 
instinct in mankind, and very properly appeals to it. 
And, indeed, the gamble is everywhere. Even in the 
County Court when you pay your hearing fee there 
is the uncertainty of the law, and the betting is 
generally against the defendant's solvency, and you 
may never get even your original stake out of the 
pool. What are the odds when the workman buys 
his grocery or drapery on credit that he will get 
his money's worth ? 

I fear there is an element of j ealousy in these sermons 
270 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

against gambling. The preachers do not want the 
working man to gamble with the bookmaker, but to 
put his money in some insurance or investing society 
with prominent Pharisees on the board, calling out 
tempting odds in specious advertisements which the 
Publican would be too honest to offer. And if there 
is to be a statute against gambling, let us so draft it 
and work it as not to kill trivial amusement, but to 
warn off the course pious directors of fraudulent 
companies who in prayerful tones commend their 
wild-cat gambles to the working man. 

No, the truth is that gambling is to most of us an 
element of our life, and, like all the other elements, 
should be used thankfully and wisely, and not in 
excess. By all means follow Michael's advice and 

.... well observe 

The rule of Not too much : by temperance taught, 
In what thou eat'st and drink'st ; 

and, indeed, in all actions of life. But remember that 
the rule of " Not too much " can never be exercised 
by a mere refusal to look the facts of life in the face 
and run the risks of temptation. 

I have preached that doctrine to many in Manchester, 
but I am bound to say, without making many converts. 
I remember an amusing jest played upon me at the 
Llandudno Golf Club. I had been laying down the 
true rule about gambling, and no doubt preaching 
about it in a somewhat Pharisaical tone, when a 
member of the committee asked me if I would play a 
certain ex-mayor of a Midland borough who was 

271 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

making matches of a very gambling and extravagant 
character with several of the younger visitors. 

" He will take it from you, Judge. You tell him 
firmly you are going to have a ball on and nothing 
more ; you can give him your views on gambling, and 
don't let him start off on the first tee with a sovereign 
a hole, or anything of that sort." 

" Certainly not," I said, " I'll keep him within 
bounds." 

" You just talk to him like you've been talking to 
us," said my friend. " It will do him good. I'll 
tell him you will play him at 10.30 to-morrow." 

The Pharisee within me was rampant, and I 
prepared to dress down the ex-mayor and make him 
play his best for only half-a-crown. 

At 10.30 he was on the tee, and I walked out to 
meet him. He looked a short, thick-set, common- 
place citizen with nothing of the gambler about him. 
But appearances are often deceitful. After a few 
words of greeting, I thought I would get to work, 
and said with some emphasis, " I will play you for 
half-a-crown, sir, and not a penny more." 

He looked up astounded, and gasped out, " I beg 
your pardon, sir." 

" Half-a-crown," I repeated, and to ease his 
disappointment I added, " I don't mind a shilling on 
the bye." 

" Sir ! " he said, drawing himself up to what 
height he could and speaking with scornful dignity, 
" This is a very unseemly joke. I have never made 
a bet in my life, and I have a poor opinion, sir, of 

272 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

anyone who wishes to make so fine a game as golf 
the subject of betting. I am president of our Anti- 
Gambling League/' 

With that he drove off a fine drive, and I topped 
the ball feebly into the rough. From the club-house 
came the congratulatory laughter of many Publicans 
at the discomfiture of the Pharisee. 

It would be wrong indeed if I were to picture 
Manchester as a city where the most eminent 
citizens were kill-joys, and where the men wore broad 
phylacteries in their buttonholes when they went on 
'Change. On the contrary, I speak of the Pharisees 
as merely a small but powerful element in the 
community. For in no city were there more men 
of the world who loved to do good with a merry 
heart and enjoy the give and take of hospitality 
with their comrades and brother sinners. Man- 
chester men know how to work hard and play hard. 
They are early risers, early closers, and early diners. 
If you were a stranger wandering through the streets 
after 8 o'clock in the evening, you would think 
you were in a deserted city ; but put your head into 
the Free Trade Hall, and it will be packed for a 
concert ; ask for a seat in one of the popular music- 
halls or a cinematograph show, and you may not 
get one ; you will even find people at the theatre 
quite a throng if it is a musical comedy such a 
varied taste has Manchester in entertainment. 

But if you want a really delightful evening go and 
dine with one of the societies or clubs whose annual 
dinner is being held at one of Manchester's best inns. 

J.S. 2/3 T 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

It may be the Statistical Society or the Playgoers 
Club or the Edinburgh Academicals, but it will not 
really matter. For whether it be statistics or 
drama or scholarship, I can promise you both fun 
and good fellowship. And I say this with honest 
certainty, that there never was a more hospitable 
place than Manchester, and there never were 
public dinners with less dulness and boredom 
about them. I don't know that the after-dinner 
speaking was any better than it is in other places, 
but there was a jollity and abandon about it difficult 
to convey in writing, though pleasant enough to 
remember. 

Sir John William Maclure was always a great 
figure at a banquet, both literally and physically 
as well as socially, and ready enough he was 
either to take a jest at his own expense in good part 
or to pink his adversary with an epigram. I 
remember one excellent score he made off myself. 
Maclure was the acknowledged impresario of the 
Tory party, and was rather proud of the fact. He 
used to deny with mock-modest emphasis that every 
appointment of recent years was made through his 
influence. " But very nearly so ! " he added. It 
was at a grand jury dinner, where I sat next Sir 
Joseph Leese, the Recorder of Manchester, and in 
proposing Sir William Maclure's health I taunted 
him with the discomfort he must feel on seeing 
Leese and myself present, and knowing that we 
were the only two jobs in Lancashire with which 
he had had nothing to do. 

274 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

" Ah ! " said the genial baronet as he finished his 
reply, " it is correct, and it is a sad truth, no doubt 
greatly regretted in Lancashire, that I had nothing 
to do with the appointment of the present Recorder 
or the present County Court Judge. I have the 
greatest respect for those two gentlemen, but I must 
correct his Honour in one particular. He referred, 
no doubt in jest, to the two appointments as two 
jobs. May I put him right ? Sir Joseph Leese's 
appointment was not a job." 

In his more expansive humour, Sir John William 
was quite Falstaffian in his addresses. I remember 
at a dinner given by a Society of Accountants 
to which he had come from London, he expatiated 
on the difficulties he had had in coming down at 
all. "I must tell you, gentlemen, that Mr. Balfour 
said to me, ' Sir John, it is impossible to carry on 
the House if you leave us/ ' But, sir,' I said, 
' I have to dine with the Manchester accountants/ 
' Ah/ said Mr. Balfour, ' then I won't keep you ; 
but tell that excellent body from me how much I 
admire them/ (Great cheering.) But that is not 
all, gentlemen. In Westminster Hall I met Lord 
Salisbury, and I had the greatest difficulty to get 
away from him. He wanted me to come down to 
Hatfield with him. I said, ' What, my lord, and 
break my word to the Manchester accountants ? ' 
' No/ said Lord Salisbury, ' of course you mustn't, 
but I tell you what you must do ; you must tell 
them from me that without accountancy the nation 
would be ruined/ (More cheering.) But, gentlemen, 

275 T2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

it did not end there, for at the railway station 
I found there was a special train just going to 
Sandringham. I was sent for, and the Prince of 
Wales was gracious enough to request me to come 
down and spend Sunday with him. ' Sir/ I said, 
' such a kind request is a command, but I have 
promised to be with the Manchester accountants 
to-night/ 'Not another word, Maclure/ said the 
Prince. * Keep your appointment, and tell the 
Manchester accountants that in my view they are 
the backbone of the nation.' " (Long and continued 
cheering.) 

Later in the evening a speaker of no particular 
account, who spoke in a diffident, somewhat halting 
way, said he did not move in the select circles that 
Sir John William Maclure did, " but/' he continued, 
" I happen to know on the highest authority the 
regard in which he is held by the greatest in the 
land. I was strolling in the gardens in Windsor the 
other day, and a Scots servant in a kilt came up and 
asked me if I came from Manchester. I said I 
did. ' And do you know Sir John William Maclure ? ' 
' Very well/ I replied. ' Come with me then/ he 
said, and he led me into a beautiful drawing-room 
in the Palace, in which I found I was in the presence 
of Royalty itself. After a courteous greeting I 
was asked what I knew about Sir John William 
Maclure. I drew a noble picture of all the virtues 
and attainments which endear him to Manchester 
men. When I had finished, the gracious lady said, 
with a sigh of relief : ' You have taken a great load 

276 



PHARISEES AND PUBLICANS 

off my mind, for I was not at all sure that he was a 
good companion for Albert Edward/ " 

Fair play for Maclure, he enjoyed the chaff as 
much as anyone. And that was one of the happy 
traits of after-dinner in Manchester everyone was 
there, like a schoolboy, to make fun or take fun in 
good part. And, perhaps, the most admirable 
feature of the whole thing was that even if there 
were reporters present, they were always clever 
enough to pick out the sense of the speeches, and 
leave the wilder flights of humour to the pleasures 
of memory. 

Alas, John William's jovial face smiles at us no 
longer, and too many of the good fellows who were 
guests at the board are shadows of memory. But 
fond as I was of the older days, and loyal as I am to 
the memory of the older men, I am not going to 
praise yesterday at the expense of to-day. I think 
the same right spirit of enjoyment still holds good, 
and I hope it will always be true to say that no one 
will find himself in touch with Manchester who 
cannot thoroughly enter into that " joyous folly 
that unbends the mind," which is Manchester's 
habit after dinner. 



277 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

In other things the knowing artist may 
Judge better than the people ; but a play 
(Made for delight, and for no other use) 
If you approve it not, has no excuse. 

WALLER : " Prologue to the Maid's Tragedy." 

A GOOD history of the Manchester stage remains 
to be written. Theatrically, the city has a very 
noble past, and there are many signs that its future 
may be equally illustrious. Probably the red-letter 
day in the annals of the Manchester stage is 
October 15, 1864, when Charles Calvert, with a per- 
formance of " The Tempest," started those ten years 
of Shakespearean revivals which are now noteworthy 
in the wider history of the drama of England. I 
once heard a lover of art, who was also a banker, 
say that Manchester had but three things to her 
credit, the Rjdands Library, Ford Madox Brown's 
frescoes in the Town Hall, and Charles Calvert's 
Shakespearean revivals. I told him that he did not 
know the water-colours in the Whitworth Gallery 
or the old-world romance of the Chetham Hospital, 
and he was bound to admit, after inspection of these 
securities, that he would have to increase our artistic 
overdraft. 

278 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

The drama owes many debts to Charles Calvert. 
He was the first to recognise the merit of Henry 
Irving, and engaged him for the stock company 
at the Theatre Royal in 1860. 

" Why on earth did you engage that raw fellow ? " 
asked an influential friend of Calvert at a rehearsal. 
Calvert looked at Irving, and theatrically touched 
his own forehead, intimating that he considered 
that Irving had brains, and that that was the reason 
of the engagement. Those five years which Irving 
spent in the company under Charles Calvert must 
have had a deep influence in moulding his ambitions 
and educating his ideals. 

But in 1886, when I came to Manchester, the old 
stock companies were gone and forgotten. The 
days of the touring companies were in their prime, 
and the cognoscenti they would not like to be called 
merely the " knowing ones " deplored in eloquent 
prose the splendours of the theatrical past. Had 
they aspired to verse they would have sung with 
Wordsworth : 

" A jolly place," said he, " in times of old ; 
But something ails it now : the spot is cursed." 

Yet speaking as one whose duty it was to go to 
the theatre every week and write about it, I doubt 
if any city had better theatrical fare than Manchester 
in the later eighties. 

For in those days, mind you, we were a humble 
people. Those learned young gentlemen who can 
see no theatrical merit in the leading London actors, 
and will find no virtue in a play that entertains the 

279 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

general public, had not yet left those dour Noncon- 
formist nurseries, where doubtless they were raised. 
It was, if not a better world, certainly a merrier 
world, and the poor, old-fashioned, uneducated 
pagans in it actually went to the playhouse after a 
hard day's work in search of entertainment. What 
is more, they got it. And being good judges of 
acting, and keen about the actor's art, there came 
to meet them a never-ending procession of the best 
actors from London, bringing down their own com- 
panies in pieces that had met with success in town. 

Turning over some playbills of 1887 it is im- 
possible not to realise that the theatre-goer of 
that date had the opportunity of seeing a higher 
and more varied standard of acting than it is possible 
to witness in the Manchester of to-day. In that 
one year we had Mr. Farren, that master of old 
English comedy, in his three greatest studies, 
Sir Peter Teazle, Sir Anthony Absolute, and Lord 
Ogleby. One wishes Charles Lamb could have lived 
to see Farren, and describe his Sir Peter. Lamb only 
saw King, the comic, fretful, old bachelor, but left 
on record his judgment that Sir Peter was to be 
played as a real man, a neighbour, or old friend, 
which judgment Farren put into execution. Then 
Miss Mary Anderson was on tour with the most 
ardent, handsome, and intelligent jeune premier of 
our time, Forbes-Robertson. They were playing 
" Pygmalion and Galatea," " Romeo and Juliet/' 
and " As You Like It." Barry Sullivan was 
still with us, and those who never saw him in 

380 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

"Richard III." and "The Gamester" will not be 
able nowadays to realise what was meant by the 
" high and palmy " school of acting, and what were 
its merits and shortcomings. Up against this interest- 
ing memory of bygone acting was young Benson, 
with his fresh, intelligent, new methods and clever 
comrades, capturing the hearts and winning the 
intellectual sympathy of an ever-widening circle of 
play-goers. 

In the same year, too, Wilson Barrett brought 
" Claudian " and the " Silver King/' with the 
company and scenery that he had with him in 
London and America ; Toole and Edward Terry 
paid us regular visits, and Mr. and Mrs. Kendal gave 
us a notable revival of " Lady Clancarty." Sarah 
Bernhardt paid Manchester a flying visit with per- 
formances of " Adrienne " and " Theodora " ; and 
last, but not least, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry 
rejoiced the hearts of Manchester playgoers with 
what we always regarded as the festival week of 
our theatrical calendar. 

When I hear people groaning over the theatre in 
the provinces of twenty-five years ago, I would 
ask them to read that list of events and honestly 
say whether the programme of to-day can beat it. 
It may be said that there are no such stars in the 
firmament to-day, and, therefore, they cannot shine 
upon Manchester. But that is not wholly true. 
There are great actors to-day and great productions, 
but nowadays they are not brought to Manchester. 

The main reason why that is so is probably a 
281 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

commercial one. For some time a dead set was made 
against " eminent " actors and their London pro- 
ductions by mistaken friends of another type of 
drama. Certain writers on the drama in Manchester 
made themselves " laughing stogs to other men's 
humours/' as a Welshman may say, by exalting 
the players on the eastern side of Peter Street into 
a glorious company of apostles, and deliberately 
tormenting the actors on the western side of the 
thoroughfare as though they were a noble army of 
martyrs. No doubt it injured business, and kept 
some of the bigger actors away from Manchester. 

But, in my view, the great days of touring com- 
panies in the provinces are over. A London success 
now has a bigger chance in Australia and a less certain 
but, of course,, more remunerative chance in America. 
And although a run round some of the big towns 
in England may be included in the future plans of 
the more popular actors, yet I think it is quite 
unlikely that Manchester will ever see so many first- 
rate performances on the road as there were in 1887. 
Nor is this altogether a matter of regret. I have 
always been an optimist about the English theatre, 
and have never believed that it would fall into the 
hands of either financiers or cranks. And in 
watching the evolution of the theatre in Manchester 
it has been manifest for a long time that some form 
of repertory theatre was on the way. 

The beginnings were made, I think, in 1893, when 
Mr. Louis Calvert produced " A Blot in the 
'Scutcheon " for Mr. Charles Hughes, who, as chair- 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

man of Convocation of the University, gave a 
theatrical party to his guests. He was the leading 
spirit of our Independent Theatre, which pro- 
duced " Candida/' " The Master Builder/' " Love's 
Labour Lost," and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona " 
without scenery, and many other interesting plays, 
in 1894. Louis Calvert was also associated with 
Flanagan in the earlier Shakespearean revivals at the 
Queen's, whence he was spirited away by Sir Herbert 
Tree to act in and assist him with several memorable 
Shakespearean productions in London. Robert 
Courtneidge, too, must not be forgotten as a 
Manchester manager, who, at the Prince's Theatre, 
gave two beautiful and reverently intelligent 
productions of "As You Like It " and " A Mid- 
summer Night's Dream." In these editions every- 
thing was done for the text and the play, and the 
actor's art was not hampered, but the adornment, 
exquisite as it was, clothed the drama without 
overwhelming it with finery. 

These were the forerunners of Miss Horniman's 
Repertory Theatre, which has won for Manchester 
such renown in the world of the drama, coming as 
it did at exactly the right moment, and coming 
as surely it has come to stay. 

I am not one of those who has ever indulged in 
extravagant hymns of praise over any of the parti- 
cular plays and artists of the Manchester Repertory 
Theatre. I think its greatest enemies have been its 
" die-hard " friends, who insisted, in season and out 
of season, that every actor and actress upon its 

283 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

stage was a genius with a consummate knowledge 
of technique, and that every play produced by a 
local playwright could only possibly have been 
improved upon by some Belgian or Dutchman. 
As I have always said, the acting is so good and many 
of the plays are so interesting that they deserve to 
be judged by the highest standard, and, to my mind, 
the highest standard of acting and production is 
to be found in the London theatres. There is no 
doubt that the old stock companies had a great 
advantage in coming in contact with the star actor 
from time to time and playing with him. In the 
modern repertory theatre this is not so. There 
must necessarily be a certain touch of the amateur 
in a repertory company. For myself, I recognise it, 
and I like it, but I see no use in telling an amateur 
that he or she has great technical skill and nothing 
to learn. One does not expect to find a series of 
golf champions on a local green, and we should 
not expect or pretend to a series of star actors in a 
repertory company. 

When the repertory system becomes more 
universal, and broadens out on the wide healthy 
lines of providing entertainment for all classes of 
people and giving smaller proportion of time, say 
one day in seven, to the cranks and pulpiteers of 
the drama, we shall find the repertory theatres 
getting a greater hold on local patriotism, and one 
by one growing stronger in good work and higher 
ambitions, until at last they unite into what will be 
in truth, as well as in name, a national theatre. 

284 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

There is one thing in which I heartily agree with 
the expressed opinions of many well-known actors. 
The Manchester audience is a great audience. Once 
captured and really entertained, the Manchester 
audience is a fearless and loyal friend. I have often 
been delighted to read in local critical columns the 
solemn excommunication of a play especially an 
amusing play and to note the pompous warning to 
the audience that if they are amused by this kind of 
thing they condemn their mental condition, and 
their moral purpose is ended ; and then to go into 
the theatre and hear a Manchester audience in 
thorough enjoyment of what their guardian high 
priest has forbidden. Only the other day I read 
that " Our Boys " visited the Gaiety Theatre, and 
the play " mirabile dictu went amazingly/' The 
Manchester digestion is good, its appetite is healthy, 
and many years of theatrical diet akin to the highest 
and most moving cheese has not destroyed the taste 
for a slice of honest plum cake. This kind of 
pedagogic critical literature is like the leader-writer's 
essay. It fills the columns of the newspaper very 
decoratively. But when the polling boxes are turned 
out on the table and the votes are counted, you can 
appraise its value. It is the box office that speaks. 

I am pleased to remember that on the few occa- 
sions I have ventured on dramatic productions I 
have had the Manchester audience with me. 
Perhaps they carry toleration too far, but I state the 
facts as they occurred. It was always certain to 
my mind from the days when I ran a toy theatre and 

285 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

cut the characters out of cardboard would that 
some of the live actors could be cut out of their 
cardboard ! that I should some day produce a real 
piece of my own in a real theatre, but I had waited 
so long about it that really the ambition had nigh 
gone to rest. It was Louis Calvert who aroused it 
when he was staying with me at Nevin, in North 
Wales, in 1900. " Why not write a play ? " he 
asked, and, of course, I responded too readily to the 
suggestion, and no sooner was his back turned than 
I was astride my hobby-horse and galloping round 
the history of the world in search of a subject. 

I reined up in the paddock of her gracious Majesty 
Queen Elizabeth, where I had always felt at home 
since I failed to gain a prize for her biography at the 
early age of nine. I wrote a splendid play about 
Queen Elizabeth. It was quite modern in its con- 
struction. Everyone sat down and talked as long 
as he or she wanted to, and went in and out without 
any dramatic reason. There were very many acts, 
and as many scenes to the acts as Shakespeare 
himself could have supplied, and there was a lot of 
real history in it lifted from Froude. It was a 
valuable human document, and from the standpoint 
of the elect of to-day it was a play. I doubt, how- 
ever, if in its original form it would ever have been 
produced. The supply of that kind of thing seems 
far larger than the demand, and my ugly duckling 
got turned into a really well-behaved swan through 
Louis Calvert's collaboration. 

" Collaboration " is a form of literary wrestling that 
286 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

is delightful exercise, but can only be indulged in with 
advantage by good-tempered friends. My partner- 
ship with Calvert began in this way. I took the script 
of my play up to London, and read it to him. I did 
not read all of it, for it was a warm summer afternoon, 
and he fell asleep before I was a quarter through with 
it somewhere about Act ii., scene 7, if I remember 
right. In the end he dismissed it with costs the 
costs taking the form of breakfasting with me the next 
morning at my hotel. I remember we had curried 
chicken for breakfast, and I have mentally associated 
curried chicken and dramatic construction ever since. 

It was during his second helping of chicken 
that Calvert suddenly announced that there was 
an " idea " in my play. The words, the history, 
the construction, and everything else were useless, 
but the " idea " was there. At the time I thought 
this estimate unduly pessimistic, now I regard it as 
glowing with the warmth of friendship or curry or 
both. Louis Calvert reduced the "idea" to its lowest 
common denominator of four scenes. With easy 
hand he unbarred the gates of light and extinguished 
by the brilliancy of a few suggestions the petty his- 
torical sequences that I had borrowed from Froude, 
and within a few months out of the ashes of my old 
play arose " England's Elizabeth," which was pro- 
duced at the Theatre Royal on Monday, April 29, 1901. 

I remember that first night very well indeed. 
There was a crowded house, and I was eager to see 
how far the play was going to interest the public. 
At the same time I had some doubt how far I was 

287 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

entitled to take a prominent part in the proceedings 
as half the author of a play on its first-night produc- 
tion. I felt rather like a father at a christening, 
proud and happy, but ready to give the real credit of 
the affair to my partner. 

I happened to find myself in a box with my back 
more or less to the stage, and I found that I could 
best measure the way the piece was going, as I used 
to do speeches to the jury in the old days, by fixing 
on the most unpromising face in the jury and 
watching it closely to see if it developed any interest 
in the proceedings. I chose an old gentleman in the 
third row of the stalls, who turned out to have a very 
kindly nature, for he began to enjoy himself in the 
first scene, and refused his wife's entreaties to come 
away and catch his train in the middle of the last act. 

One performance among many good ones stands 
out in my memory. It was that of Mr. Edmond 
Gwenn as an old gardener. During the rehearsals 
Mr. Gwenn, no doubt in the interests of the 
piece, had uttered sentiments of his own, which 
in my conceited way I thought inferior to the 
words I had written. Diffidently I approached him 
on the subject, and suggested that beautiful as his 
words were mine had a sort of first mortgage on his 
attention, as being prior in date if not in relevance. 
With great charm of manner Mr. Gwenn assured me 
that on the first night I should have every word as 
written, and I shall never forget not only hearing 
the words, such as they were, but having contri- 
buted to the success of one of the most perfect pieces 

288 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

of character acting I ever witnessed. Some day 
" England's Elizabeth " will be discovered. I know 
it is a good play, for many years afterwards a scene- 
shifter in London asked me after it, and assured me 
that he had seen " a good deal of it " when he was at 
the Theatre Royal. Moreover, the lady who took 
the coats and hats told me that she had seen it 
several times, and always went in at the end of the 
last act to cry. These testimonials are unanswerable. 
Anyhow, the play is worth reviving if only for its 
first gardener. 

It was a popular success with its first-night audience, 
and at the end of the play I was hurried into the wings, 
and Mr. Calvert and I went forward and made our 
bow. It was not a joint bow, we each made one of our 
own. Calvert's was far the best, mine was but an 
indifferent affair, and then when the curtain went 
down there were cries of " speech," and Calvert 
insisted that I must go on alone and say something. 
I must have been very nervous, for I made a wretched 
mess of it. What I really intended to say, of course, 
was that all the best things in the play were Calvert's ; 
but what happened was that having thanked the 
audience for our kindly reception, I concluded : 
" I have often been asked as to this collabora- 
tion, which parts of the play I have written, and 
which parts Mr. Calvert has written. I can tell 
you in a sentence. All the parts that you have 
enjoyed are mine, the rest are Calvert's." There 
was a yell of delight. I made a really beautiful 
bow this time and retired to the wings, where 

j.s. 289 u 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Calvert was shaking a friendly fist at me in histrionic 
anger. 

Since then I have been in at many first nights in 
which I was interested, and several of them have 
been in Manchester, where, as I have already said, 
I have found a kindly welcome. And although I 
have no cause to complain, but rather the reverse, 
of any want of kindness in any audiences to whom I 
have submitted my work, I must admit that I think 
the dullest first nights I have ever attended are those 
of a play intended to be amusing which is produced 
in London. For the house is full of guests, most of 
whom are regular diners-out at meals of this kind, 
with very little appetite for ordinary cake, or else 
they are critics on duty. And at no time are these 
latter more to be pitied than on the first night of a 
farce. If they went to be amused they would cease 
to be critics, and as they go to criticise they are 
little likely to be amused. 

I have been at two first nights of farces in which 
I was interested. What I have seen is a strenuous 
battle between the actors and a great part of the 
audience, a sort of tug-of-war to see if the actors 
could tug any laugh out of the weary play-goers in 
front. In the two battles I witnessed, the actors won. 
In the first of them a curious incident occurred. 
A well-known and ample author let us hide the 

breadth of his identity behind the letter C 

not being to the manner born of first nights, was 
so tickled at the early humours of the opening scenes 
of " What the Butler Saw " that he laughed by 

290 



THE MANCHESTER STAGE 

himself in his unprecedented radical way all through 
the first act. His laughter was like a minute gun at 
sea, exploding at intervals amidst unechoing icebergs. 
There from the second row of the dress circle came 
the laughter of a kind heart as the merriment of a 
little child expressed in the music of a bull of Basan. 
The sound of it frightened the actors horribly, and 
my friend and collaborator, Frederick Mouillot, 
rushed round to the stage to assure the terrified 
artists that it really was laughter. For apparently it 
is not etiquette to extend any sort of notice to the first 
act on a first night. But later on everyone joined 
in and stooped to enjoy the fun for the moment, 
though C continued to lead by several octaves. 

Some day in a better world I hope to write as funny 
a farce, with as excellent a collaborator as Mouillot, 
and to have it as well acted, and I shall play it in a big 
theatre with the roof off. And there shall be no one 
in front but shall have the heart of a little child and 
the lungs of a giant. It will always be a dull thing 
to produce a farce written for young hearts before an 
audience with wrinkled livers. 

And I think one of the most amusing judgments 
ever made after one of my Manchester first nights 
was delivered by an anonymous amateur critic on a 
post-card, which was placed upon my desk as I 
started my work in Quay Street on the morning 
after the production of " The Captain of the School." 
I have received many absurd anonymous communi- 
cations in my time, for there are a great many folk 
whose only taste in life seems to be to expand the 

291 u 2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

postal revenue in this fashion. Some of them are 
crudely coarse and objectionable, but this post-card 
breathed a genuine sincerity and honesty of dispraise 
that was admirable. It ran : 

A VOTER. 

Sir, I went last night to see your play. It was like your 
verdicts Rotten I 

Rough on the playwright, of course, but does it not 
contain a subtle compliment to the Judge ? I 
extend to my anonymous correspondent my best 
thanks. No post-card that I have ever carried about 
in my pocket has given greater pleasure to my 
friends. 

That first night of " The Captain of the School/' 
on November 14, 1910, had a keen interest for me, 
inasmuch as it was the first appearance of my 
daughter, Miss Dorothy Parry, so that, as it were, 
from a domestic point of view we were having two 
first nights at the same time. She made an excellent 
success, which she repeated in London and elsewhere; 
but certainly she ought to agree with my apprecia- 
tion of the Manchester audience. May it be my good 
fortune to risk another argosy among its friendly 
waves before the end of the last act. 



292 



CHAPTER XVII 

QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

The art of quotation requires more delicacy in the practice than 
those conceive who can see nothing more in a quotation than an 
extract. 

ISAAC DISRAELI : " Curiosities of Literature." 

AT the corner of Byrom Street and Quay Street was 
the Manchester County Court, as I knew it, from 
1887 to 1894, as a barrister and afterwards from that 
date to 1911 as judge. I must have spent a great 
portion of my waking hours within its dreary walls. 
Often do I walk down Peter Street in my dreams, and 
find the same officer on point duty holding up the 
traffic like the waves of the Red Sea in order that I 
may cross Deansgate with dignity and he may 
deliver an elaborate salute; but following the 
pleasant desultory fashion of dreamland I never 
actually reach the old Court, but wander away else- 
where. I do not think when I am departed I shall 
ever return to haunt the court-house, not merely 
because it is noisy, ill-ventilated, and uncomfortable 
most court-houses are but because if I once got 
back there I should want to be at work again, and to 
take a hand in what was going on, for despite all the 
dreariness of its somewhat squalid routine, I found 
a percentage of entertainment in the day's work. 

293 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

I think the real reason spirits do not return to their 
old haunts is that they know that they would not be 
allowed to cut in and take part in the game. 

I was on the point of saying I had no unpleasant 
memories of Quay Street, but that would scarcely 
be correct, for it was in that court that I had the 
misfortune to be shot. One does not care to 
remember the tragedies of life, but if one is to set 
down the happenings of one's Manchester days one 
can hardly leave out such an extraordinary occur- 
rence. The facts as I understood them were these. 
On the morning of July 26, 1898, I had to cancel 
the certificate of a man named William Taylor. The 
case had lasted very late the night before. After 
the decision and just as the next case was started I 
became aware of what I first thought was a dynamite 
explosion close to my left ear. The second explosion, 
which caused me intense pain, I recognised to be a 
pistol shot, and the bullet from that I carry about 
with me still. The third, which gave me even greater 
pain, never hit me at all, for Henry Thomason, with 
magnificent bravery, had caught my assailant by 
the throat, thrown him on to the floor, and the third 
shot, in fact, went into the plaster on the opposite 
wall and then out again into the middle of the court. 
I must have tried to drag my head out of the way 
and so hurt myself. I never absolutely lost con- 
sciousness, and remember Montgomery, the surgeon 
who happened to be in court, examining my throat 
and saying " there was no perforation." I hadn't 
an idea what he meant, but it sounded reassuring. 

294 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

There is no object in recalling the long months of 
pain that I had to go through before I was fit to work. 
It is pleasanter to remember the enormous kindness 
shown to me by all sorts and conditions of people 
during those grievous days. In the nursing home 
they very soon made an effort to photograph the 
bullet with the X-rays, which were then only 
beginning to be used. It was a terrible ordeal in 
those days, and I should think I was over twenty 
minutes trying to lie still on a couch with a square 
negative for a pillow whilst the light spluttered 
about in a most unpleasant way. When it was 
developed they showed me a blur with one indistinct 
blob on it. 

" What is that ? " I asked. 

" The bullet," said the doctors. 

" And have you photographed all the metal in 
my head ? " 

" Certainly." 

" Then where is the portrait of my gold tooth ? " 

I never got an answer to that, and the doctors 
took away the photograph, which I always main- 
tained was only of interest to dentists. 

A year ago I thought I would make a further inves- 
tigation and went down to Birmingham, where my 
friend, Dr. Franklin Emrys Jones, with his partner, 
Dr. Hall Edwards, made several radiograms of it. 
Dr. Hall Edwards was in South Africa during the 
war, and was specially interested in bullets. It is 
marvellous, after all he has suffered in the pursuit 
of radiography, to see him, maimed and in pain, 

295 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

directing the work with the greatest enthusiasm. 
The modern engines are more terrifying to the victim, 
and the affair is somewhat uncanny, for when the 
light is turned on the operators retire behind a lead- 
glass screen and watch you from afar. But it was 
all over in a few minutes, and very soon they 
returned with a negative in a dish, not a flattering 
likeness, perhaps, but an excellent picture of a side 
view of my skull and the bullet at the base of it. 

I had plenty of doctors to look after me, and they 
were kindness itself, Wright and Southam and 
Judson Bury were with me at Quay Street, and Dr. 
Larmuth came up and put my ear-drum back in its 
place. It had got blown aside by the concussion 
of the revolver. I think that depressed me more 
than anything, for I knew if I was deaf I should never 
get back to work again. It was the left ear, and one 
of my early visitors said to cheer me up, " That 
doesn't matter, judge, that's the defendant's ear, 
and you never listen to him, you know." " That 
may be," I said, " but there is all the difference 
between not listening and not hearing when you do 
listen." 

After some weeks I got down to Nevin, in North 
Wales, but it was extraordinary what a long time 
it was before I got over the shock. Of course, for 
many months I was often in pain, but with every 
desire and incitement to get back to ordinary life 
I found I had not, at first, the will to do it. I 
remember Dr. Leech, who was making a tour of that 
part of Wales to write an essay on its climatology, 

296 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

came up to see me, and was insistent in his kindly 
way upon my having a swim. I had had to grow 
a beard, and I looked like an Anarchist, and I hated 
going about, because people stared at me. How- 
ever, the next day I crawled down to the shore with 
Dr. Leech, and with the aid of two sticks walked into 
the sea. I regarded the doctor as a manslaughterer 
at the time, but when I came out rejoicing and 
walking ever so much better I knew I had won the 
first victory. The second was over my bicycle, 
which I knew I couldn't possibly ride, and very 
nearly didn't in consequence. After that I got 
bold and went swimming out a bit until a six-inch 
wave knocked me on the side of the head, and 
reminded me that I was very far from being whole. 
I recall these things because I have of ten found them 
useful to refer to in those difficult cases of neuras- 
thenia and malingering in workmen's compensation 
cases. Here was I, with every incentive to recovery 
and every desire to recover, and every opportunity 
that human being could have, bungling the affair 
from want of the necessary will power. I learned 
that after a severe shock it is a really tough job for 
an honest man to get himself back into condition, 
and that long after wounds and limbs are healed or 
mended there remains a real mental indisposition to 
look the world in the face again that is hard to over- 
come. Even to-day, though all the effects of the 
accident have practically passed away, I cannot sit 
still if anyone suddenly opens a soda-water bottle 
at the back of me, and I am distinctly gun-shy. 

297 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

I got back to work in November. It was too early, 
and I broke down again, but I did get back to work 
and was able to do it. I could not have stood a 
formal greeting, but a great many friends came down, 
and there was quite a crowded court as I took my 
seat. I had arranged with Charley McKeand that 
as soon as I took my seat he should jump up and ask 
for some imaginary case to be adjourned to prevent 
anyone starting an oration. This was done. A 
few days afterwards Joseph Collier, the surgeon, told 
me an amusing anecdote about it. "I was coming 
down Byrom Street," he said, " and the officer at 
the door, whom I know, called out to me, ' Hi, 
Mr. Collier, you'd better coom into coort this morn- 
ing. There's gran* doin's on. Judge Parry's taking 
his seat again, and Charley McKeand's down, an' 
'e'll be makin' a fine pow-wow. You see.' So I 
went in," continued Collier, " and as you know, 
nothing happened. When I came out I jeered at 
the policeman, who seemed quite upset. ' I never 
saw the like of it ' he said. ' After all that's 'appened, 
and 'im so well liked and aw, and they make no more 
fuss than if he'd just been off the bench to have a 
drink like usual.' " 

I think the officer referred to the luncheon 
interval. .There were certainly no other adjourn- 
ments, even on the thirstiest days, though Collier 
often used to chaff me about it. However, I soon 
had a good story against Collier. There had been 
an accident to a workman, which was said to have 
esulted in concussion of the spine. The workman 
298 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

was a very stolid character, and Collier had examined 
him for the insurance company. The following 
cross-examination took place : 

" Do you remember Mr. Collier examining you ? " 

" Aye, I do." 

" Did he stick a pin into your thigh ? " 

" Aye, 'e did an aw. 1 ' 

" Did you start up and scream ? " 

" WeU, so would you." 

" But hadn't you told him your thigh was numb 
and had no feeling ? " 

" What's the good of telling 'im ony thing ? " said 
the witness, pointing contemptuously at Collier. 
" That's where doctor made 'is mistake. I told 'im 
I were numb i' front, and what does 'e do but go 
and stick a pin into my backside. 'E's no doctor." 

When the case went to the medical referee 
Collier's views were upheld, though I always used 
to warn him against the danger of sticking pins 
into the wrong part of the human joint. 

I could fill many columns with pleasant memories 
of our works and days at Quay Street. The Regis- 
trar and his clerks and the high bailiff and myself 
were a very happy family, and despite our somewhat 
gloomy surroundings we managed to put a good deal 
of cheeriness and heartiness into our work. It is not 
for me to say how far we succeeded, but this I may 
say for the Court, and I chronicle it with pride, that 
I believe it was the only Court in England that had 
a cricket team with a card of fixtures, and regularly 
played a high bailiff and a judge. 

299 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

And, on the whole, I think the staff, from lowest to 
highest, worked hard to make an efficient machine of 
it and certainly the affairs of the poorer people were 
thoughtfully administered, and the Registrar and 
chief clerks did a lot of work in looking after the 
estates of the widows and orphans in cases under the 
Workmen's Compensation Act. Personally I used 
to see each of the widows once a year at least, and by 
keeping in touch with the family doings we were 
often able to give a child an appropriate start in life 
which he or she would never have had if the money 
had merely been invested and automatically paid 
over. Not every experiment was a success, of 
course, but the experience satisfied me that the death 
payments at least were a very great boon to the 
working class, enabling a widow to save her home and 
the home life for her children in a way she could not 
have done before the passing of the Act. 

No one dislikes grandmotherly interference more 
than Manchester folk, unless it be Salf ord folk, but in 
dealing with large and unaccustomed sums of money 
it is a good thing that the widows and orphans should 
have the co-operation of the Court. Naturally many 
of these poor widows have short views, and cannot see 
far enough ahead to the days when what to them is 
indeed a bottomless purse shall be found to be empty. 
It is very difficult to prevent them rushing into 
businesses for which they are ill-fitted. They are 
surrounded by agents and friends, who have some 
unsuccessful business generally a fried-fish shop 
to sell at a high price, and both buyer and seller are 

300 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

indignant with the hard-hearted and unbelieving 
judge when he wants to see books and invoices, and 
to have proof of the weekly takings before he will 
allow the widow to invest her money. To the 
widowed soul, fried fish is synonymous with fortune ; 
to me it always smells of fraud. 

I cannot say that all our battles with ignorance and 
shiftlessness were victories. We got badly hit on 
occasion. I remember in my early days a young 
widow, who had re-married, coming with her husband, 
a handsome young fellow, with letters from relations 
from America, and a scheme of going out there, 
where work was plentiful. It seemed an excellent 
plan, and after some discussion all the figures having 
been put before us by the young man in a business- 
like manner, a big sum was handed out for the 
equipment and travelling expenses of the family, and 
the remainder was to be sent over when they arrived. 
Months passed and we heard no more of them, and at 
length one day the clerk told me the woman had 
turned up in the office, with a black eye and a new 
baby. They had not been nearer to America than 
Blackpool, and the man had never done a stroke of 
work until the money was spent. That was one of 
our failures. Since then we have worked through 
an emigration society or taken the tickets ourselves. 
It has been notable that on several occasions when 
I have told the applicants that we would take their 
tickets and make all the arrangements they strongly 
persuaded me not to go to the trouble, and seemed 
quite pained that they should be the cause of so 

301 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

much extra worry. Indeed, finding me adamant on 
the subject, they have thrown up the idea of emi- 
grating altogether and stayed in the old country. 

Tombstones are the source of a great deal of 
difficulty. Seeing the example set in high places, one 
sympathises with the poor in their desire to show 
respect to their dead, even if one is convinced that 
the measures they take are unwise. I generally like 
to postpone the drawing out of money for a tombstone 
as long as possible ; but I have never made any hard- 
and-fast rule that nothing shall be used for such a 
purpose. I remember one widow grieved very much 
that I could not allow her a considerable sum for a 
" stone." I told her we would discuss it again in 
about twelve months. When she returned after 
this period I happened to remember her trouble, 
and said : " I do hope, Mrs. X., you have thought 
over all I said to you last time about the tomb- 
stone." 

She looked down on the ground, and I feared we 
were going to have tears. 

" I think there are so many better ways of showing 
respect/' I ventured. 

" Yes, sir," she began falteringly, " so do I, sir." 

"I'm very glad," I said heartily. 

" So am I," she said, blushing. " You see, I'm 
going to be married again." 

And though one laughs over the little comedies 
in the lives of these poor folk, I became daily 
more and more impressed with the sterling worth 
of the people whose servant I was, and I spoke 

302 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

with all sincerity when I said, on leaving Manchester, 
that I took off my hat to the Lancashire man who 
brings up his wife and children worthily on twenty- 
five shillings a week. I have been face to face with 
the man, and feel that his outlook on life is a great 
asset for our country, and that it has been a privilege 
to be called upon to minister to his needs, even in the 
obscure atmosphere of an urban County Court. 

As a witness, he is a most refreshing and epigram- 
matic personality. He is far from being a saint or a 
hero, but he is in the main honest, homely, and 
humorous, and you can learn a great deal of the diffi- 
culties of his works and days by appreciative study of 
his sayings. Most of them could have left the court 
with a clear conscience, saying in the old style : 

An' I niver knaw'd what a mean'd, but I thowt a 'ad summut 

to saay, 
An' I thowt a said whot a owt to a said, an' I coom'd awaay. 

Here, for instance, is a melancholy epigram on 
Manchester as a city, where sane human pleasure 
should be catered for by the rulers and governors. 
It occurred in the cross-examination of a workman by 
that excellent advocate, Mr. Hockin. He was seeking 
to show that the witness was not present at the works 
when an accident to which he was testifying had 
happened. 

" But I think that you said you had a holiday that 
day/' 

" I had an aw ! " 

" Do you mean to tell the Court," asked Hockin, 
303 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

in his most archdeacon-like manner, " that you came 
back to the works when you might have been 
enjoying a holiday ? " 

" Certainly," replied the witness. 

" Why did you do that ? " asked Hockin, with a 
touch of triumph in his voice as if there was no 
possible explanation. 

The reply was only too obviously truthful. 

" What should I do ? I have nowhere to go. I'm 
teetotal now." 

It requires quite a long and subtle study of the 
Lancashire witness to really understand when he is 
condescending to incivility, though many of his 
phrases might too hastily be interpreted against his 
sense of good manners. An excellent old brewery 
collector was trying to recover a lost barrel, and was 
quite unable to show me documentary evidence of 
its residence in the defendant's house. I was 
cross-examining him about it, and could get no 
satisfaction. 

" When was the beer sold ? " I asked. 

" I don't know." 

" Was it several years ago ? " 

" Nay, but I don't know." 

" But I must know the date," I replied sternly. 

He folded his hands in despair at my unreasonable 
obstinacy and sighed deeply, and speaking with 
slow emphasis said : " Then all I can say is that 
you'll have to go down to the brewery." 

I shall not easily forget the entire change of scene 
caused in a small County Court drama by a very 

304 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

Lancashire witness. The plaintiff was a south- 
country chemist's assistant, most dapper and polite 
a very Osric of the pharmaceutical world. His 
employer had dismissed him for drunkenness. On 
the view it was hard to believe that the plaintiff 
had vigour enough for any such delinquency, but 
his testimony, given in a mincing voice, was a little 
suspicious. 

" I assure you, sir, that I have the misfortune to 
suffer from asthma, and my doctor has ordered me 
to take whisky on these foggy mornings, that are 
so severe in this climate. I am a very temperate 
man. I need hardly say, sir, a very temperate 
man. A lady came in for a syphon, and I gave her 
one. She thought it was soda, and it was lemonade. 
It was entirely the lady's error, and that seems to 
have annoyed the lady. It does annoy ladies, and 
she seems to have got the impression of course, 
an entirely mistaken impression that I was not, 
in fact sober. Your Honour will know what I 
mean ; but, of course, a mistake, a sad mistake 
and the lady unfortunately sent word to my master 
and he came down and was very violent, and threw 
me out of the shop." 

The defendant said the man was drunk, and pro- 
ceeded to call witnesses. The lady was ineffective, 
but a working man called on subpoena and a very 
unwilling witness put the matter beyond doubt. 
We had no advocates, so I told him to tell his 
story in his own words. 

" I dunno reely much aboot it," he said, " I wor 

J.s. 305 x 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

passing shop an' 'ad a bit o' cough mysen, so I went 
in for twopennoths o' balsam. An' when I got in 
t' shop I saw yon mon " pointing to plaintiff 
" leaning up agin them variagated decorated drawers 
like they 'ave in them shops, an' I says to mysen, 
I says, ' 'Enery, you ain't tired o' your life yet, are 
you, 'Enery ? ' An' with that I cooms out wi'out 
ony balsam an' that's all I know." 

The plaintiff, who had little dramatic instinct, 
insisted on cross-examining as to whether the 
witness was prepared to swear he was drunk, but the 
witness replied with true Lancashire charity and 
caution, " I 'oped as 'ow you was drunk, but, in 
coorse, you might 'a' been taking poison." 

A very few months after I was made judge I got 
a homely rebuke from a suitor that led to an inte- 
resting reform in my conductof affairs. A man was 
telling me in moving for a new trial that he had got in 
the County Court on the day of the trial too late for 
the hearing. I asked him why he had not waited until 
the end of the day and made an application to me. 

" So I did," he said, "but as soon as last case was 
over you jumped up and bolted through yon door 
like a rabbit." 

After that I made more dignified exits, and I also 
arranged a practice of waiting and talking to everyone 
who was left over and had anything to ask, so I am 
grateful to my critic. I used to have many strange 
applications for advice, some quite beyond my power 
of satisfying. For instance, a working man came to 
me once with the most perplexing problem. " I 

306 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

want to know/' he asked, " whether I must call 
my little girl Ferleatta ? " I spell it phonetically, 
as he could not help me in the spelling, but I fancy 
the real name may have been Violetta. 

" What has happened ? " I asked. 

" Two young women as visited the missis during 
'er confinement coom one neet as we were at tea. 
They takes the baby down to parish church and they 
brings it back ' Ferleatta/ an' I wants to know what 
are my rights." 

I counselled consultations of a kindly nature 
with the young ladies, foreseeing litigation of a 
complicated and painful ecclesiastical nature. 

Another poor fellow told me his adventures when I 
was sitting as Recorder in the Minshull Street Courts, 
and he was summoned as a witness. "First I went 
down to the County Court an' they tells me to coom 
up here, an' I gets into the Police Court and an officer 
tells me to cross the bridge, an' I lost my way an* 
got into the Coroner's Court, and they sent me out 
o' that and unfortunately I got among the solicitors, 
and they told me to go into the hall and wait till 
my name wor called which it never wor called." 

I forgave him all the trouble he had caused for 
sake of the word " unfortunately." 

I am very sorry for a man who gets to the wrong 
court ; the summons is generally clear enough for the 
ordinary citizen, but to the less literate of the 
community it seems often a difficult problem. 

If one had the faculty of painting genre pictures of 
" Our Street " in Hulme or Ancoats the County 

307 X2 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Court is the place to find the incidents. A good lady, 
a little, short, fussy woman, was describing to me 
how she got a plumber's job done in her house. I 
could see the picture. 

" Landlord tells me 'e couldn't get Thomas to do 
it, ' and/ says 'e, ' if you can I give you luck/ I 
went to Thomas's missus, an' I says, ' Where is 'e ? ' 
She says to me, ' If you don't find 'im in the beer- 
'ouse you won't find 'im at all/ With that I went 
to the beer'ouse an' I got 'im out, and I takes 'im 
up to the 'ouse. 'E wasn't for coming, but I 
sauced 'im all the way down Pimblott Street, an' 
'e kept telling me whot 'e'd do if I was 'is wife." 

Here is another recollection of a graphic story 
told by a woman witness. If unreliable at times, the 
evidence of women is generally full of good advocacy. 
This good wife gave me a very dramatic account 
of her husband's dealing with a Jew jeweller. The 
tallyman tempts women with drapery and men 
with jewellery. The wife turned up to defend the case, 
very wisely leaving her husband at home. The 
tallyman produced an order form with a cross on it 
alleged to be made by the absent husband. I asked 
the woman if her husband was a scholar. " No," 
she said, " David wasn't brought up to scholarship ; 
he was brought up to hard work." Then she told her 
story. " Yon man," she said, pointing to the plaintiff, 
" his name is Isaacs, and he's by way of being a 
Scotchman, and I've had a shawl off him. Many 
a time he's tried to sell David a watch, and I told 
him I wouldn't have it. Well, he comes in Saturday 

308 



QUOTATIONS FROM QUAY STREET 

afternoon for a talk with a box of joollery. I 
remember the day 'cause he tripped over our 
door-mat and nearly spilt hisself , and he says to me, 
' I'll have to be selling you a new door-mat, missus/ 
and I says to him, ' Our door-mat's plenty good 
enough for the folks that comes across it.' With that 
he laughed and gave me a shilling to get a quart at 
M'Ginnis's vaults, and when I comes back they was 
handling the joollery, and knowing how soft my 
husband is about joollery I made him put it back in 
the box afore I gave him the beer, and I can swear 
there was no watch there then. We all talked a bit 
and supped the ale, and then he and David went 
out. It was very late when David came home, and 
he came home drunk with a cigar in his mouth, but 
he never had no watch on him 'cause I put him to 
bed myself." 

The case was adjourned for David to appear, but I 
never saw David, and I dare say the affair was amicably 
settled over another quart from M'Ginnis's vaults. 

Some of the most amusing evidence is given in 
running-down cases. No Lancashire witness ever 
admitted that he did not understand a plan, but it 
is generally waste of time to trouble him with one. 
Counsel, however, will do it, and I was delighted once 
when counsel's own witness marked with a cross 
the scene of a collision between a tram car and a milk 
float in the chancel of the parish church. 

They are very dogmatic, too, about the miles 
per hour a vehicle is travelling, a fact that few 
can measure accurately. The following dialogue 

309 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

between counsel and witness shows how worried and 
confused a witness may get about comparative pace, 
but his attempted recovery from the dilemma is at 
least ingenious. 

" Where were you, and what were you doing ? " 
asked counsel. 

" I was walking along the Eccles Road towards 
Eccles at about four miles an hour." 

" What pace was the trap going ? " 

" Very slow indeed," replied witness. " Say 
about three miles an hour." 

" Ha ! " cried counsel, triumphantly ; " but the 
trap overtook and passed you you forget that." 

" I do not forget. It's you that forget," replied 
the witness with indignant assurance. " The trap 
was trotting ; I was walking." 

And it is because the bulk of the people who come 
before the Court are so bewildered by the forms 
and ceremonies of litigation, and so rarely do them- 
selves justice in the examination and cross-exami- 
nations as at present conducted, that I want to see 
all this replaced for small affairs by some simpler 
and more domestic procedure. We should lose 
some of the comedy, no doubt, if we had our Courts 
of Conciliation and the judge were to try to make 
peace instead of giving a legal verdict in matters 
where there is very little right and plenty of wrong 
on both sides, but we should gain greatly in utility. 
And if anyone is in doubt whether there is room for 
such a court, let him go down to Quay Street for 
himself and verify these quotations. 

319 



CHAPTER XVIII 

DEALING IN FUTURES 

Do I sleep ? do I dream ? 
Do I wonder and doubt ? 
Are things what they seem ? 
Or is visions about ? 
Is our civilisation a failure ? 
Or is the Caucasian played out ? 

BRET HARTE : 
" Further Language from Truthful James." 

THERE are some who think that in Manchester 
the Caucasian is very much played out, but I am 
not of their number. I look back on the past 
history of the city and compare it with the present, 
and am still of opinion with Richard Cobden that 
Manchester is the place for all men of bargain and 
business. The gambling trade in bills no doubt 
belongs to London, but the real trade of making, 
collecting, and selling belongs to Manchester. For 
Manchester is the place where people do things. 

It is good to talk about doing things, but better 
still to do them. As a great teacher used to say 
to his art students : " Don't talk about what you are 
going to do do it." That is the Manchester habit. 
And in the past through the manifestation of this 
quality the word Manchester became a synonym 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

for energy and freedom, and the right to do and to 
think without shackles. 

And as I say, there are some who think that the 
days of freedom and energy are gone, and that 
Manchester is " left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a 
lodge in a garden of cucumbers/' but I refuse to be 
of their party. For as I have read of the past, so I 
look round and see here to-day the old eternal fight 
going on, the contest between those who think any- 
thing is good enough for Manchester and those who 
think nothing is too good for Manchester. For 
these contending spirits are the Genii fighting over 
the soul and the body of the Master of the Event. 

And anon you find the good spirit in the ascendant, 
and a citizen raises an Owens College or a Whitworth 
Gallery or a Rylands Library that the name of 
Manchester may be magnified, and again the Evil 
Genie has gained the day and hardened the hearts of 
the rulers of the city, and they can only sit and talk 
and talk about necessary libraries and art galleries, 
having altogether lost the Manchester habit of doing 
them. And to those who are in despair about the 
hopelessness of the fight, let me recall that delightful 
American parable dear to my childhood, the Story 
of the two Frogs. There were, as I remember, two 
frogs who visited a dairy. One was an optimist and 
the other a pessimist. And the latter fell into a 
milk-can and swam about, gazing despondently at 
the shiny sides up which he could not crawl, and at 
last feebly ceased to struggle and sank to the bottom 
and was drowned. Now the optimist frog also fell 

312 



DEALING IN FUTURES 

into a milk-can, and he too looked up at the shiny 
sides of the can, but he kept a good heart, and all 
through the night swam and kicked and struggled, 
until in the early dawn he found himself at the 
bottom of the can sitting on a pat of butter. 

That kind of spirit is not only to be found in 
frogdom. Richard Cobden had it, and calls it 
Bonapartian, "a feeling that spurs me on with the 
conviction that all the obstacles to fortune with which 
I am impeded will (nay shall) yield if assailed with 
energy." That is the true Manchester spirit, and it 
is not dead to-day. 

And to my thinking, if you want to realise fully 
the wonderments that trade and commerce could 
produce if they would, turn into the real Manchester 
Cathedral not the parish church which belongs to 
the past but the Cathedral of to-day in Deansgate, 
the Rylands Library. Around you, seated in their 
stalls, are the great prophets and preachers of the 
world, clothed in glorious but perfectly legal vest- 
ments, not thrusting their messages uncivilly toward 
you, but waiting in dumb dignity until you feel 
worthy to approach and learn. And for my own 
part to reach one of those side niches, those pleasant 
pastures of study, harbours of letters in quiet creeks 
away from the main stream of the library, is to 
arrive at the haven where I would be. I do not 
grudge another his ritual and his music, and the 
sing-song of his priest. I only know that I feel 
better without them. For in this building I find an 
odour of sanctity not always to be found in churches. 

313 



WHAT THE JUDGE SAW 

Here I have listened to sermons voices from beyond 
more eloquent in their wisdom than many preached 
in latter-day pulpits. Sitting in peace and at rest 
in this beautiful building, the dim ripple of the 
outer traffic just reaching my ear, I have often 
wondered whether all Manchester might not be 
builded and furnished in the same spirit of honour 
and worthiness. And being faintly imbued with the 
Manchester spirit myself, there are times when I 
believe that this will really be so. For my eyes 
refuse to see, even in nightmares, a picture of 
Manchester in ruins, with tourists tracking over the 
desert on hired camels to visit the remains of the 
Town Hall with its battered frescoes, and the shell of 
the Rylands Library, sole relics of a vanished city. 

My dreams and imagery are far otherwise, and I 
hold with the poet that eidolons are the entities of 
entities. And if I have ever appeared to the good 
librarians in Deansgate to have had my eyes closed 
in ecclesiastical slumber, it was not really so. I was 
seeing visions, dreaming dreams, or more truly per- 
haps, I had impelled my spirit into the future and 
had left my body, umbrella-wise, hypothecated in 
the safe keeping of the library officials. For in this 
method I have many times visited Manchester several 
hundred years hence, and my difficulty has always 
been to find the Rylands Library, or even the Town 
Hall, so many noble buildings of even finer propor- 
tions stood among the lawns and gardens and 
fountains of the city. And I had rather see visions 
of a New Manchester than a New Jerusalem. 

314 



DEALING IN FUTURES 

I know no prettier dream, if it be one, than to sail 
from Eastham up the pure waters of a wider canal 
and see the country folk resting after their day's work 
in the dainty cabarets along the shores, and as the 
last lock gates close behind you and you swing into 
the great lagoon to the south of the city, the setting 
sun crimsons the clean stone and marble warehouses 
of a noble city. For this I can prophesy it is 
information, not a tip that if there is to be a 
Manchester at all some hundreds of years hence it 
will be a city without smoke, its people will be 
healthy and handsome, its Pharisees will be fewer, 
and all will breathe pure air and walk clean streets, 
and when a citizen's day's work is done he will be 
found angling for a trout in the church pool with a 
better chance of success than he would have to-day. 

But these futures depend on the good Genie of 
Manchester winning the battles of to-day. For 
when energy, freedom, and the power to do things 
depart from Manchester she will become " as an oak 
whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no 
water." 



315 



INDEX 



ABBOTT, Rev. Edwin, 18 
Abbott, Elizabeth, 18 
Abbott, George (Archbishop of 

Canterbury), 18 
Addison, J., Q.C., Judge, 41, 

3. 139, 152, 153. 174 
Agnew, Sir William, 58 64 
Aitken, Louis, 90, 134, 135, 

212, 214, 221, 224 

Anderson, James, Q.C. (Official 

Referee), 58, 64 
Anderson, Mary, 280 
Anderton, Mr. (Solicitor), 144, 

M5 

Archer, William, 244 
Arnold, W. T., 7380 
Ashton, Thomas, 196 
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H., 39 
Astbury, J. M., 151, 208 210 



BALFOUR, Rt. Hon. Arthur 
James, 201 207, 265 

Ballantine, Serjeant, 23 29 

Barrett, Wilson, 281 

Barrie, J . M., 75 

Beccaria, Bonesana, Marchese 
di, 107 

Bell, Joseph, 192 198 

Benson, Frank, 281 

Berry, James, 109 



Blair, Falkner, 62, So 83, 
87 89, 90, 96, 113 120 , 
248, 249 
Blair, Mrs., 81 
Bovill, Sir W., Q.C., 23 
Bowen, Lord Justice, 49, 131 
Bradbury, J. K., 96 
Bradlaugh, Charles, 102 
Britland, Mary Ann, in 118 
Bronte, Charlotte, 79 
Brougham, Lord, 18, 232 
Brown, Ford Madox, 278 
Bruce, J. A. B. B., 44, 45 
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James, 221 
Burnaby, Rev. E., 249, 250 
Burnie, R. W., 43 
Bury, Dr. Judson, 296 
Butt, Hon. Mr. Justice. 50 54 
Byrne, T. F., 88, 113 117, 140 
141,221 



CAGNEY, C. F., 42 

Caiger, Rev. W. S., 264 

Calvert, Charles, 278, 279 

Calvert, Louis, 282 289 

Carr, J. Comyns, 244 

Cave, Hon. Mr. Justice, 113 

1 1 8, 134 136, 203, 249 
Cecil, Lord Robert, 203 
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Joseph, 

40, 43, 5557. 233, 235 



317 



INDEX 



Clarke, Sir Edward. K.C., 114 
Clay, Robert, 69 
Cobden, Richard, 311, 313 
Coleridge, Rt. Hon. Lord 

Chief Justice, 47, 89 92, 

139,219 

Collier, Joseph, 298, 299 
Collins, Henn, Q.C., 34 
Costeker, Charles, 142 
Cottfngham, James, 122 
Courtneidge, Robert, 283 
Coventry, Judge, 142, 143 
Coward, Lewis, 58, 203 
Cox, Bertram, 40 

DANCKWERTS, W. O. A. J., 

3941, 203 
Darling, C. J., 54 
Davey, Sir Horace, 132, 133 
Da vies, Rev. Llewelyn, 17 
Davis, Mrs., 81, 82 
Day, Mr. Justice, 195 198 
Derby, Lord, 197 
Dixon, Mary, 112, 113 
Dixon, Thomas, 112 116 
Douro, Lord, 22 
Drummond, Lister, 51, 52 
Ducat, Colonel, 62, 63 
Dukes, 119 122 
Duncombe, Thomas Slingsby, 

22 



EDWARDS, Dr. Hall, 295 
Esher, Lord, 130, 131 

FARREN, William, 280 
Finlay, Sir Robert, Q.C., 119, 

132, 203 

Flanagan, Richard, 282 
Forbes-Robertson, J., 280 
Freemantle, George, 202, 206 
Frere, Bartle, 40, 41 



GARNETT, Richard, 19 
Gaskell, Miss, 78 80 
Geoghan, G., 42 
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd, 43 
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., 56 
Gordon, George, 119, 120 
Gordon, Meyer, 119 122 
Gordon, Mr., 119 122 
Grantham, Hon. Mr. Justice, 

127131 

Green, John Francis, 204, 205 
Gully, W. C. (Lord Selby), 99, 

loo, 130, 155, 160 162, 195 
Gwenn, Edmund, 288 



HALDANE, Rt. Hon. R. B., 44, 45 
Hannen, Lord, 131 
Harwood, Sir John, 265 
Hawkins, Hon. Mr. Justice, 23, 

49, 63, 133 
Heron, Sir Joseph, 59 
Herschell, Sir Farrer, Q.C., 36 
Heywood, Judge, 133, 220 
Hey wood, Oliver, 194 
Hicks-Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir 

Michael, 168 
Higgin, William Housman, 

Q.C., 95101 
Hill, Dr. Birkbeck, 106 
Hockin, Mr. (Solicitor), 303, 

304 

Hodgson, C. D., 169 173 
Holker, Sir John, Q.C., 24 
Holyoake, George Jacob, 19 
Hopkinson, Charles, 192, 193 
Hopwood, Charles, Q.C., 158 

248255 

Horniman, Miss, 283 
Hughes, Charles, 221, 282 
Hughes, Judge, 140, 141 
HultoD, Mr., 246, 247 

318 



INDEX 



Hutton, Crompton, Judge, 143 
-146 

IRVING, Sir Henry, 77, 200, 
279, 281 

JAMES, Sir Henry, Q.C., 36 
Jeli, Sir Arthur Richard, Q.C., 

53 

Johnson, Dr., 105 108, 266 
Jones, Dr. Franklin Emrys, 

295 
Jordan, Ernest, 158 

KELLY, Mr., 215, 216 
Kendal, Mr., 281 
Kendal, Mrs., 281 
King, Alderman, 59 
Kingsley, Charles, 267 

LARMUTH, Dr., 296 
Leatherbarrow, James, 136, 

137 

Lee, Yate, Judge, 132 
Leech, Dr., 196, 296, 297 
Leese, Sir Joseph, 274, 275 
Legros, Alphonse, 36 
Leresche, J. H. P., 99 101 
Lister, Mr Registrar, 222 
Loehnis, H. W., 39 
Lovett, William, 21 
Lowe, R., 244 
Lush, Robert, Q.C., 23 
Lyttelton, Hon. A., 203 



McCALL, R., Q.C., 214, 215, 216 
McKeand, Charley, 67, 88, 96, 
J 53 *62, 298 



McLachlan, Lachlan, 58 64 
Maclure, Rt. Rev. Dean of 

Manchester, 33 
Maclure, Sir John William, 

274277 
Maltby, Mr., 205 
Martin, Baron, 28 
Marwood, Mr., 108 
Mathew, Hon. Mr. Justice, 49 

54 

Matthews, Henry, Q.C., 53 
Montgomery, P. (Surgeon), 29 
Morley, Samuel, M.P., 165 
Morris, Phil, R.A., 81 
Mouillot, Frederick, 291 
Muller, William, 164 
Munro, Professor, 203, 207 
Murphy, J. P., Q.C., 201206 

NASH, T. A., 240, 241 
Newman, Cardinal John Henry, 

54, 190, 191 
Nowell, Dr., 179 
Nunn, Rev. Canon, 261 

ORTON, Arthur, 49 

PANIZZI, Anthony, 19 
Pankhurst, Dr., 58 63 
Parnell, Charles Stewart, 247, 

248 

Parry Dorothy, 292 
Parry, Rev. Canon Edward, 12 
Parry, Edward (Tanner), 12 
Parry, John Humffreys (Welsh 

Antiquary), 10 

Parry, John Humffreys, Ser- 
jeant, 10 31, 35, 144, 269 
Parry, John Humffreys (Actor), 

30 
Parry, Thomas (Attorney), 12 



319 



INDEX 



Partington (Artist), 200 
Peto, Sir Samuel, 22 
Pinero, Sir A. W., 77 
Pope, Sam, Q.C., 86 
Price, Judge, 177 

ROSEBERY, Lord, 56 

Ross, Sergeant, 121 

Ruskin, John, 182 

Russell, Sir Charles, Q.C., 24, 

160, 161, 163 
Russell, Judge, 137, 138 

SALTER, Clavell, K.C., M.P., 42 
Sarcey, Francisque, 77 
Scott, C. P., 72, 245, 246 
Scott, Mrs. C. P., 72, 78 
Shee, H. G., 88, 96, 195, 219 
Shee, Serjeant, 23 
Shields, Frederic, 60 
Shuttleworth, Mr., 137 
Simon, Henry, 196 
Smith, A. L., Hon. Mr. Justice. 

136, 137, 212 
Smith, Richard, 37 39, 58 

-64. 

Southam, F. A., F.R.C.S., 296 
Spencer, Reuben, 196 
Spencer, Mr., 247, 248 
Stanhope, Hon. Edward, 54 
Stewart, Archie, 45 47 
Sullivan, Barry, 280 
Sutton, E., 96, 195 



TAYLOR, William, 294 
Terry, Edward, 281 
Terry, Ellen, 281 



Thomas, John (Solicitor), ir 
Thomason, Henry, 294 
Thompson, Stephen Chesters, 

201 205 

Threlfall, Thomas, 54, 55 
Toole, J. L., 281 
Tree, Sir Herbert, 283 
Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir G. O., 

44 
Tuke, Dr. D. H., 26 

VAUGHAN, Father Bernard, 268 



WEBSTER, Sir Richard, Q.C., 55 
Welldon, Rt. Rev. J. E. (Dean 

of Manchester), 7 
West, Henry Wyndham, Q.C., 

8995 
Weston, Sir Joseph, M.P., 

163 169 

Whalley, Mr. (Solicitor), 260 
Will, Shiress, Q.C., 58 
Williams, Lord Justice 

Vaughan, 131 133, 203 
Willis, Judge, K.C., 24, 175 
Wilson, Richard, R. A., 12 
Woodard, M. N., 113 
Woodburne, Lancaster, 135, 

136 

Wotton, Sir Henry, 105, 123 
Wright, G. A., F.R.C.S., 296 
Wright, R. S., Hon. Mr 

Justice, 39, 47, 132 
Wright, Wildy, 29, 30 
Wynne, Mr. (Solicitor), n 

YATES, W. M., 96 



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Or a Cheap Trip to Fairyland 

180 pages. With a Map of Butter-Scotia, 
many full-page Plates and Illustrations in the Text. 
Bound in specially designed Cloth Cover. 6s. 

Second Edition, 96 pages, Cloth. 35. 6d. 

Katawampus : 
Its Treatment and Cure. 

The World. "One of the very best books of the season." 

Saturday Review." The book is one of rare drollery, and the verses 
and pictures are capital of their kind." 

Pall Mall Gazette." A truly delightful little book, . . ." 

May be obtained from SHERRATT & HUGHES, 

33, SOHO SQ., LONDON, W., 34, CROSS ST., MANCHESTER 
OR ALL BOOKSELLERS. 



With Beautifully Coloured Plates by Walter Crane. 
Price 6s. 

The Story of Don Quixote 
Retold. 

Crown 8vo. 193 pp. Price is. 6d. 

Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare* 

Illustrated by A. Rusden. Crown 4to. 

Price 3S. 6d. net. 

Pater's Book of Rhymes* 

Christmas Stories for Children of all Ages. 

The First Book of Krab. 

132 pages, with many full-page Plates and 
Illustrations in the Text. 

Bound in specially designed Cloth Cover, 35. 6d. 
Royal 8vo. Price is. 

Katawampus Kanticles* 

Music by Sir J. F. Bridge, Mus.Doc., Organist 
of Westminster Abbey. Words by His Honour 
Judge E. A. Parry. Illustrated Cover, representing 
Kapellmeister Krabb, by Archie Maccregor. 

May be obtained from SHERRATT & HUGHES, 

33, SOHO SQ., LONDON, W., 34, CROSS ST., MANCHESTER, 
OR ALL BOOKSELLERS. 



14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 

This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 



REC'D LD 



JAN 1 2 1957 



LD 21-100m-6,'56 
(B9311slO)476 



General Library 

University of California 

Berkeley 



809791 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY